Pfizer Takeover Will Effect Whole British Health Industry

Reported in The Economist, the British health industry will be greatly affected by a potential takeover of Pfizer by  AstraZeneca.

Britain is seen as a good market to invest in according to The Economist arguing, ‘although Britain represents just 2-3% of the global drugs market, it accounts for about 10% of global R&D spending. This research heft is partly a legacy of the early NHS, which created a big market, but it owes something to Britain’s universities and to a wave of mergers. The coalition government that has run the country since 2010 has tried to nudge the proportion higher. Prompted by the job losses in Sandwich, in 2011 it introduced a life-sciences strategy that increased R&D tax credits and created a patent box that lowers the tax rate to 10% on profits earned from inventions patented in Britain.’

So important is Pfizer to the British economy it has inspired great debate in Parliament. With ‘responses to Pfizer’s bid have evinced Westminster’s newly interventionist mood. The government has received promises from the company that it would keep manufacturing in Britain and complete a campus that AstraZeneca is building in Cambridge. Ian Read, the company’s chief executive, also says the firm’s European headquarters would be based in Britain. At first Mr Cameron welcomed these “robust assurances”. But then, on May 7th, he said he wanted more.’

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