Helen covered how BIVDA worked with the government and members during the pandemic and candidly discussed what could have been better as well as how the approach was flawed and emphasised the need for the lessons learned to change the infrastructure of government pandemic preparedness and to adopt the good practices as a matter of priority.
Helen focused on the successes and strength of BIVDA through the pandemic in the context of IVD being widely known to manage outbreaks and peaks in various infections and how we have become accustomed to this in our business and made the required preparations for appropriate product availability.
The approach of the government has been widely criticised from within our sector and rightly so, we united as one voice to point out that the approach was not only misguided, but it was also impossible. BIVDA along with IBMS aligned the message and supported our companies and staff as testing would be needed on a scale never seen before.
Due to the arguably mis-managed and chaotic government response, we as an industry now face more regulations, more paperwork, increased demands along with wider global impacts of increased raw material cost and supply issues. But we do face the potential of more investment and a bigger stage so we need to ensure that we pursue this, demonstrate that we can continue to deliver and meet the needs of the public and government departments. Your strength is our strength and by continuing this bolder attitude we can capitalise on all the opportunities that we now have.
The session was well received and emphasised the importance of BIVDA and our members.
The event was sponsored by AstraZeneca, University of Liverpool, University of Manchester, Newcastle University, Durham University, University of Leeds, Keele University, Lancaster University, University of Sheffield, Bruntwood SciTech, Chubb, The Biosphere and QIAGEN with Prolab providing much of the content.
However, despite the achievements and our emphasis publicly about our sector successes – to really grasp the opportunities and develop our position in the years to come, we have to concede that the capability of the NHS and also our own people in the IVD industry stepped up and exceeded anyone’s formal expectations, and this is something that BIVDA is perfectly placed to emphasise and demonstrate to government, and we do so at every opportunity because as it turns out, it wasn’t completely impossible, and the achievements made in diagnostic testing could be described as leading. But we need to listen! We need to adapt! We need to be flexible!
This is certainly a lesson we need to learn behind the scenes looking inward. We could have been more agile to coin a corporate phrase and we could have learned and adapted faster when it became obvious that there were no longer any firm and fast rules of engagement. We could debate whether this is right or wrong for the rest of the century, but as individual companies and as the sector we have to accept that we were caught on the hop on more than once.
In our 30th Anniversary year, BIVDA are proud to state that we are the most representative trade association for IVD. It continues to be a source of frustration and unnecessary effort to keep pulling our sector away from being diluted into overall diagnostics, seemingly due to increased funds finally being available for us.
It is a special and diverse sector and it is unhelpful to be considered a small part of the wider diagnostic landscape. Organisations with broader bases and strategies cannot drill down to specific member requirements, nor be the voice of the industry when in constant conflict with other sectors.
Our size, depth, knowledge, experience and influence make us truly representative of In Vitro Diagnostics in the UK, approximately 95% of UK IVD Suppliers are members of BIVDA.
We represent over 200+ IVD companies and have a balanced mix of large, SME and micro companies. Over the past 12m we have increased our Start Up/Spin out members by almost 20%.
It is clear from our existing achievements that unity and messaging is key and we’re looking forward to working with all our members, large, small, new and older to truly drive our sector forwards.