The UK established the Agriculture and Environment Biotechnology Commission (AEBC) to consult widely on biotechnology issues
and the environment. The Human Genetics Commission (HGC) has been set up to look at genetic technologies and their impact
on humans, providing strategic advice to the government. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has taken responsibility for the
assessment of genetically modified (GM) foods and the development of new policies.
The European Medicines Evaluation Agency (EMEA) is responsible for fast-track approval of biotechnology-derived pharmaceutical
and veterinary products throughout Europe. It provides a single EU-wide license valid in all member states. The UK Medicines
Control Agency (MCA) provides approval of other medicinal products and has a strong international reputation.
In 1999, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) was established as a Special Health Authority for England and
Wales. Part of the National Health Service, NICE provides health professionals and the general public with authoritative,
robust, and reliable guidance on current best practices. NICE produces specific guidance on the use of new and existing medicines,
clinical guidelines for specific disease treatment, and the safety of interventional procedures. It also funds studies on
improving the quality of patient care.
One particular area in which the UK has been successful in adapting legislation and regulations to changing circumstances
is in the use of embryonic stem cells, where the UK is now in a leading position internationally and attracting top scientists
from around the world.
Against this backdrop it is hardly surprising that more and more leading biotechnology companies are committing to the UK.
Researchers and businesses alike are assured not only of a world-class environment today but also into the future. To close
- as I opened - with words from David Sainsbury: "The UK government sees bioscience as a key industry for the future and is
determined to create the best possible environment for the industry to grow and flourish."
For UK Trade and Inward Investment Opportunities, contact:
UK Trade & Investment USA
Hannah Morris, Life Sciences and Healthcare Analyst
British Consulate General
One Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA 02142