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The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has called for action to be taken to ensure that the UK’s life sciences sector continues to grow and perform strongly.

Calling on the UK government and industry to deliver “decisive” action, the CBI said that action in the sector would improve patient outcomes and drive innovation.

In a report, entitled Lets’ Get Clinical, the trade body made five recommendations which it asserted would bolster the UK’s standing in the life sciences industry.

The report calls for maintained funding in research and development (R&D) in the sector, specifically for investment in clinical trials infrastructure in order to create an end-to-end system of innovation.

It calls for the creation of Accelerate UK, a national body which would unite the existing strands of the current system. Accelerate UK would have strategic responsibility for the adoption of innovation across UK businesses, as well as boosting the importance of innovation and adoption.

The CBI also proposes the establishment of a UK Advanced Research Projects Agency to develop products with a consumer focus, along with long-term funding to encourage and drive regional growth.

The fourth point calls for the Apprenticeship Levy to be radically reformed into a more flexible model, the Skills and Training Levy, to support more investment by businesses in people.

Finally, the report claims that more must be done to improve procurement processes within the NHS, in order to improve in areas such as medicines uptake, medtech investment and innovation.

The report calls for the ethical use of NHS data to drive patient-centric breakthroughs and leveraging the Accelerated Access Collaborative body to ensure quicker availability of new medicines, medical technologies and diagnostics on the NHS.

According to the CBI, COVID-19 has highlighted the link between the life sciences sector and the economy, with initiatives in other countries showing an intensifying level of competiton in the sector worldwide.

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