Mr Baker says: "Now is the time to have a wider debate on genetic engineering." The European Union, the Commission, MEPs and many of its member citizens have been discussing this subject in the context of the draft directive for more than ten years. One of the outcomes of his debate is that the directive includes the provision for an ethical overview process that will consider ethical issues raised by all aspects of biotechnology. Furthermore, John Battle MP, Minister for Science, has recently initiated an extensive public consultation process into the new biotechnologies.
The development of modern diagnostics and medicines relies heavily on biotechnology. Without adequate patent protection, the investment and the 12 years it usually takes to develop a new medicine would be impossible to imagine. Patients now have good reason to hope that biotechnology can fulfil its promise to provide new and better medical treatments .
Dr JEFF KIPLING
Director, Science and Technology
The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry
London SW1Reuse content