BIVDA, ABPI and BIA Re-Launch APPG for Life Sciences
On Thursday 27 February, the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Life Sciences was relaunched. Chaired by Daniel Zeichner MP, the APPG will raise awareness of UK life sciences among parliamentarians and explore the challenges and opportunities facing the sector. Leading industry experts from biotech SME Theolytics, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) and Darren Stenlake from Sysmex UK, on behalf of BIVDA, spoke at the meeting, which was attended by MPs and members of the House of Lords.
Darren gave a broad outline of the challenges facing the in-vitro diagnostics sector, focussing on its contribution to patient outcomes and NHS pressures, but also the barriers our members face with regard to uptake, commissioning gaps and budgetary silos. He also touched on the problems that a fragmented system of credentialing and restrictive KPIs are having on our ability to deliver tangible benefits for patients and NHS staff.
Despite their benefits, IVDs continue to face a glass ceiling when it comes to the uptake and diffusion of new tests and technology across the health service. In fact, uptake of new IVDs within the NHS typically takes about 10 years . Earlier diagnosis through IVDs has the potential to reduce pressure on the NHS, by freeing up capacity for more complex cases – patients can spend a few hours in a hospital rather than being admitted for an overnight stay – or potentially even avoid hospitals altogether through better use of Near Patient Testing.
There is also a public health benefit. IVDs can play a vital role in identifying whether antibiotics are in fact needed or not, differentiating between bacteriological or viral illness for instance. They can thereby combat the inappropriate use of antibiotics. They can also help ensure that the right antibiotic is prescribed for the bacteria causing the issue, not only increasing efficacy but also helping reduce antibiotic resistance in bacteria.
Speakers from the ABPI and BIA outlined the need for greater support for innovation, attracting the right talent, and ensuring the international regulatory standards that govern our respective industries remain aligned in a post-Brexit world.
The group is planning a programme of events throughout the year and we will keep members updated.