Jon Mowles, Life Science Sector Specialist, UK Trade & Investment (UKTI)shares with Romiya Das of Elets News Network (ENN) the ICT componentsin the field of life sciences that drive the market
What opportunities does United Kingdom offer to the Indian biotech, pharmaceuticals and life sciences companies?
UK Trade & Investment (UK TI) has two parts to the investment side which helps the overseas companies to do business in the United Kingdom. And the other is the trade side which helps the UK organisations to internationalise. For any organisation, one of the primarythings outside their own countryis the market. In the life sciencessector, there is a huge market in theUK. In fact, of all prescriptions thatare written in the UK, 50 per centare generic drugs and half of themhave Indian origin. Twenty five percent of the drugs prescribed in theUK are having Indian origin, so UKis an extremely important marketfor Indian companies. There is also a great familiarity with the UK market for standard provisions. There is anease of doing business here becausethe World Bank recognises thecountry as one of the top 10 countriesin the world. Secondly there is ahistorical link between the UK andIndia. What also helps is that the UKcorporation tax, at 20 per cent, is aslow as any country in the G20. Wenow also have the patent cost, whichimplies that if you register a patentin the UK and when you have salesspecifically related to that patent, thecorporation tax is 10 per cent. Thenthere is the tax credit which includes significant reduction in tax on theR&D undertaken in the UK.
How is UK harnessing big datafor better healthcare? How doyou think the data saved in thecloud is secured?
One of the examples I can give with regard to use of big data is that we have National Health Service (NHS)â€”one of the biggest organisations in the world which has a massive patients data. NHS has been around for over 60 years and we have information of the patients who are not only children which were born today, but also of their parents, grandparents and great grandparents and so on. There was a realisation some time back that we should try to make use of this data.We have Clinical Practice Research Data link (CPRD) and did anonymise records that was kept by the NHS. But that is an ongoing process as there is enormous amount of data and there are already millions of millions of records that are part of the CPRD.
How is the UK regulatory environment as compared to other European countries?
UKâ€™s regulatory organisation isknown as Medicines and HealthcareProducts Regulatory Agency (MHRA),which is soon going to ink an MoU thisyear with the Government of India.MHRA has always had acceptance inIndia, undertaking facility inspectionsto make sure that the manufacturingof the drugs is complying with therequirements of the MHRA. We havean European Medicines Agency(EMA), which covers entire Europe, toensure harmony between all countriesin Europe, making a drug registeredfor the UK, eligible to be sold in any ofthe other European countries.
When you talk about theIndian market of life sciences,are there any hurdles in thetrade between UK and India inthis sector?
There are no hurdles in the tradebetween the two countries and Ifind a lot of interest in the Indiancompanies to do business in the UKand sell drugs into the UK market.A lot of companies already havefacilities in the UK while a few ofthem are undertaking research anddevelopment here as well.