The UK Government has set out to make Britain a more attractive place from which to source drugs and ingredients by awarding a series of taxpayer funded grants to supply chain focused innovation projects.
Last week in-Pharmatechnologist.com that a 22-stong coalition of companies led by GSK had been awarded £11m ($18m) by the Government in a four year project designed to fund development of new manufacturing methods and bolster Britain’s industrial “prowess.”
While the involvement of big firms like GSK, Mettler-Toledo, GEA and AstraZeneca grabbed the headlines, the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI) will support companies across the supply chain according to a Department of Business, Innovation and Skills spokeswoman.
She told in-Pharmatechnologist.com that: “AMSCI aims to improve the global competitiveness of UK supply chains by facilitating collaboration alongside investment in capital or infrastructure, research and development and training.
“The goal of this project is to bring manufacture of pharmaceuticals into the twenty-first century with more personalised production, closer to patients and in response to need.”
Public pharma phunding?
While these patient-centric, personalised medicine-focused ambitions are laudable, in-pharmatechnologist.com wanted to know why the drug industry deserves the support of taxpayers.
The Government spokeswoman told us that: “The Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI) is a £245 million government supply chain fund which is helping to rebuild British manufacturing prowess.
“AMSCI is a competitive process, with bids evaluated on potential to deliver supply chain improvements and on value for money for the taxpayer.”
She also pointed out that all the projects backed so far have also received an equivalent or greater amount of private backing.
“In total, in Round 4, nine projects will receive £129m of support - £53m of government funding is leveraging in more than £75m of private money. The projects will directly create 1,369 jobs and safeguard a further 2,525.”