Responding to Sir John Bell's Life Sciences Industrial Strategy, Niall Dickson, co-chair of the Brexit Health Alliance and chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said:
“The Government should look closely at how research could be affected by the UK leaving the EU and how we keep our leading role in international medical research.
“We want to support the UK Government to make sure that patients can continue to benefit from world-class medical research, including vital international research collaborations, similar to the current European Reference Networks.
“Life sciences and other areas of health and care research should be seen for what they are - major assets for the UK economy – not a cost to the taxpayer.
“As Brexit negotiations continue we urge the Government to remember that life sciences, the development of cutting-edge medical innovations, generates around £66 billion each year.
“The launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper in January was welcomed by many but the links between it and the health sector were, at best, implicit. So we welcome Sir John Bell’ recommendations in a specific strategy for life sciences and look forward to supporting the Government to implement them.
“If we are to fulfil the potential of life sciences, the NHS must be supported, encouraged and resourced to play its part.”