LONDON (Reuters) - AstraZeneca’s chief executive said on Thursday his company remained “very committed” to investment in Britain, despite challenges in the UK market.
Drugmakers are concerned at low healthcare spending and limited use of new drugs in the National Health Service, which results in French and German patients being five times more likely to receive a newly launched medicine than those in Britain.
Industry is also worried about the impact of the country’s decision to leave the European Union, which has created significant regulatory uncertainty.
Nonetheless, Pascal Soriot said he believed Britain remained a good place for pharmaceuticals investment.
“We’re very committed to the UK. We are working very collaboratively with the government in this country to play our part in the development of a life sciences industry,” he told reporters.
“What is, of course, necessary is that the government does implement policies that will be attracting investment, not only from large domestic companies like us and GSK (GlaxoSmithKline) but also from companies around the world.”
AstraZeneca is finalising construction of a new strategic R&D centre and global corporate headquarters in the English university city of Cambridge in a bid to develop close ties to academia. The University of Cambridge has a global reputation for life sciences.
Reporting by Ben Hirschler