NOAH welcomes industry-led proposals to build UK’s status as world leader in life sciences

The animal health sector can be a part of the international benchmark for success proposed in Sir John Bell’s Life Sciences Industrial Strategy, launched today, says NOAH. But the future regulatory model for veterinary medicines and the UK’s relationship with both the EU and international partners post-Brexit will be critical to the sector’s ability to be part of this success.

Dawn Howard, NOAH chief executive said: “In our submission to the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, NOAH explained how the animal health sector is closely allied to the overall life sciences sector, with a number of our members involved in both human and animal health, and with the One Health approach as policy in many vital areas.

“These include reducing the spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) through the research and development of new antibiotics, alternatives to antibiotics and better health prevention. The medical and veterinary professions (mirrored by the companies that serve them) are in full dialogue in this area,” she said.

“In addition the veterinary sector is involved alongside human medicine in the fight against new exotic diseases through surveillance and the development of new technology vaccines and awareness on issues such as Lyme Disease.”

NOAH’s submission also mentioned the role of animal medicines in public health and the production of safe food from healthy animals and the benefits of pets to society – in terms of health and benefit to the UK economy.

Dawn Howard said: “Research shows the benefits of living with a pet: a recently published study by CABI ‘Companion Animal Economics’ estimated that pet ownership may reduce use of the NHS by £2.45 billion a year, through people needing to make fewer visits to the doctor. The UK veterinary medicines sector is also essential for the wellbeing of the pets sharing 12 million UK households, as well as nearly 10,000 assistance animals and 1500 working dogs.

“NOAH looks forward to making this vision come to fruition and welcomes government’s indications that the UK is fully committed to continuing a close working relationship with the EU, in particular the European Medicines Agency (EMA), post-Brexit.

“Animal medicines are equally subject to the stringent regulatory controls of their human counterparts, based on EU legislation, using the EMA. As we leave the EU, our priority is a vibrant and innovative animal medicines sector, supporting the health and welfare of the UK’s livestock and pets,” Dawn Howard added.

Notes for Editors

  1. For further information please contact Alison Glennon or Dawn Howard at NOAH 020 8367 3131 or email a.glennon@noah.co.uk.

  2. NOAH represents the UK animal medicines industry. Its aim is to promote the benefits of safe, effective, quality medicines for the health and welfare of all animals. For further information, please visit: noah.co.uk

  3. Details of the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy, launched by Sir John Bell are available here https://www.gov.uk/government/news/sir-john-bell-to-unveil-industry-led-proposals-to-build-uks-status-as-world-leader-in-life-sciences

  4. The Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper is here https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/building-our-industrial-strategy#documents-title

  5. To deliver a thriving animal medicines sector, post-Brexit, NOAH has set out a series of priorities that will:

    • Support trade and innovation
    • Safeguard animal health and welfare and public health and food safety; ensuring that UK veterinarians and animal keepers continue to have access to a wide range of appropriate veterinary medicines.
    • Ensure businesses have access to skilled staff – the right workforce they need
    • Incentivise product research and development within a regulatory system which continues to be one of the most stringent in the world – making UK the first choice world-leading regulatory authority
    • Encourage companies to do business in the UK as unnecessary regulatory burdens are recognised and removed
    • Ensure transitional arrangements to support business continuity post EU Exit are built, utilising links with specialist EU infrastructure where necessary