Press release 3 December 2021

Global pharmaceutical industry leaders meet with UK Prime Minister to discuss leadership in global health and innovation

Press release

Yesterday, global leaders from the pharmaceutical industry met with the Prime Minister, senior UK Cabinet Ministers and the NHS Chief Executive, to discuss global health and innovation.

Their discussions focused on how the industry and UK Government can work together to drive pharmaceutical innovation and rapidly deliver the next generation of medicines to patients worldwide, and deliver on the ambition of the UK Government’s Life Sciences Vision.

Most of the industry’s leading biopharmaceutical industry CEOs participated together with global, European and UK industry bodies who represent a global industry that employs 2 million employees worldwide and invests £5bn per year in R&D activities in the UK alone – more than any other sector.

The global health topics discussed included an assessment of current threat posed by the Omicron Variant, and progress in developing vaccines and therapeutics to further defend against COVID-19 and preparing for future pandemics (Statement on 100 Days Mission report).   Innovation was a central theme of the exchanges.  Discussions covered topics such as the role the biopharmaceutical sector innovations play in supporting the economic and health system recovery, and steps to accelerate pharmaceutical innovation and rapidly deliver the next generation of medicines to patients in the UK and worldwide.

The meeting also focused on delivering the ambition set out in the UK Government’s Life Sciences Vision, including the Prime Minister’s Health Care Missions, the importance of shaping global regulatory standards and championing gold standard intellectual property provisions worldwide.

At the conclusion of the meeting, PM Boris Johnson thanked the CEOs for their innovations and underscored the vital role of partnership between government, industry and science to jointly tackle healthcare challenges.

The biopharmaceutical industry representatives made the following statements:

BCR Chairman, Jean-Christophe Tellier and IFPMA President & Chief Executive Officer & Chairman of the Executive Committee, UCB said:  “The BCR meeting in London provided an important opportunity to recognise the critical role that the UK plays in global health and in the discovery of new medicines and vaccines. The sector wants to support the UK Government to deliver on our shared ambitions.

“Supporting the economic and health system recovery, while ensuring UK patients benefit from latest innovation. Today’s BCR is a chance for us to discuss how we can work together to make that a reality.”  

International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA), Director General, Thomas Cueni said:  “There is much to celebrate about the UK’s ambition to be a global hub for life sciences, and the UK continues to be a powerful advocate for the importance of science and innovation on the global stage. The UK Government has been a critical voice in maintaining Intellectual Property protection for medicines and vaccines. Sustaining this is crucial to support a world class life sciences sector.”

ABPI Chief Executive, Richard Torbett said: “The ABPI has been working closely with the UK Government on how we can make the UK a life sciences superpower, and today’s meeting with global Chief Executives underlined the progress we are making.

“There is now a real opportunity for our members to partner with the NHS and Government to deliver on the ambition set out in the Life Sciences Vision and ensure NHS patients can benefit from the latest medicines and vaccines.


The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) represents over 90 innovative pharmaceutical companies and associations around the world. Our industry’s almost three million employees discover, develop, and deliver medicines and vaccines that advance global health. Based in Geneva, IFPMA has official relations with the United Nations and contributes industry expertise to help the global health community improve the lives of people everywhere. For more information, visit

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Elliot Dunster