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MPs anxious over proposed AstraZeneca takeover 16.05.14

Science and Technology Committee press David Willetts for “longer-term guarantees”

The Science and Technology Select Committee has written to David Willetts in order to express their concern at Pfizer’s proposed takeover of AstraZeneca. Andrew Miller, the Committee’s chair, wrote:

“The UK has long been a world-leader in the life sciences and, as the Government recognises, the pharmaceutical industry plays a large and important role in our economy. The industry is also vital to UK science, accounting for approximately 25% of all commercial research and development (R&D) expenditure and providing jobs to thousands of highly-skilled British scientists. As one of the UK’s two largest pharmaceutical companies […] AstraZeneca forms an extremely important part of this landscape. As such, the national stake in the proposed transaction with Pfizer is unusually high: any threat to AstraZeneca’s research capacity must, to an extent, be considered a threat to UK science.”

The letter also stressed the need for “further, longer-term guarantees” from Pfizer in order to reassure them of the pharmaceutical giant’s commitment to the UK.

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