On Monday, Doris-Ann met with other Life Science Trade Advisory Group members at the Department of International Trade for a round table with the Secretary of State, Anne-Marie Trevalyan. The purpose of this was to hear about progress from with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) negotiations in Geneva and moving forward with the free trade agreement (FTA) with India. The UK negotiators with tacit support from Switzerland and the USA have held firm on the issue of no waivers for IP for COVID vaccines and drugs under TRIPS (the WTO agreement on Trade-Related aspects of Intellectual Property) which LMICs are claiming are causing access into their countries for their citizens. Moving on to look at IP for the FTA, the group were asked for evidence or even anecdotal experience of IP issues – particularly related to India as this is a potential sticking point. Any companies who have opinions and information to share on IP and export issues are encouraged to let Doris-Ann know of these – even if the information requires anonymity.
Meanwhile Doris-Ann is speaking with DIT officials to ensure they understand the difference between use of IP in our sector versus pharma. Discussions have also started on an FTA with the Gulf States.
Yesterday was the closing meeting for the NIHR Condor program and participants from all aspects of the programme came together from the 4 NIHR MICs to share learnings and outcomes. BIVDA was a supporting sponsor for the programme and Doris-Ann gave an industry perspective, alongside other speakers covering acute, primary care and care home settings. The output from the meeting will be written up and will be available in due course to all members. Doris-Ann also encouraged submission of the paper to the enquiry on the Pandemic.
As we all know, there has been political chaos this week with Ministers resigning including the Minister for Science, Research & Innovation, George Freeman. We had been expecting a number of Life Science Policy Announcements next week, on 14 July, the Future of UK Clinical Research Delivery, the Life Science Vision Implementation Plan, a white paper on Health disparity, the Women’s Health Strategy and 4 Healthcare Missions focussed on Obesity, Mental Health, Cancer and Dementia (with a further 4 to follow at the end of 2022). Healthcare Mission is a somewhat peculiar term being used to describe a policy objective and planned activity focussed on improving a designated aspect of healthcare.
Whether we will now see any, all or indeed none remains to be seen but we will be scanning for them next week so we can update you as soon as possible.