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NICE to rule on influenza flu drug zanamivir

BMJ 1999; 319 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.319.7215.942a (Published 09 October 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:942
  1. Gavin Yamey
  1. BMJ

    The British pharmaceutical industry will start to move out of Britain if the government makes the environment antagonistic to its interests, Sir Richard Sykes, chairman of GlaxoWellcome, predicted on Monday.

    Sir Richard's comments, on BBC Radio Four's Today programme, came after it was reported that the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) was about to recommend to the health secretary, Frank Dobson, that his company's new influenza drug zanamivir (Relenza), should not be available on the NHS.

    Sir Richard said that his company was not threatening to pull out of Britain, but he warned: “If [the government] continues to make the environment antagonistic to this industry then obviously it will start to move elsewhere. It is something which needs to be taken into consideration.” He added that although 94% of his company's business was abroad, about 50% of its research work was conducted in Britain.

    His remarks suggest that there will be a savage …

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