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ABPI: Pharma must sell outcomes, not products

Annual conference told industry must re-establish its social contract with the NHS

ABPI London offices 

The UK pharmaceutical industry needs to change the way it approaches the NHS, according to the ABPI. 

"Our future is to sell outcomes and not products," the trade association's chief executive Stephen Whitehead told its annual conference in London yesterday. 

“This is absolutely, in my mind, about re-establishing the social contract we have with the NHS - that social contract which, historically, has delivered enormous value for patients.

“That's about us delivering our side of the deal, which is about innovation, new [and] cost-effective medicines that deliver better patient-centric care, more efficiently and more economically.”

In turn, he said, it is down to the NHS to ensure those medicines are delivered to patients in need, underlining one of the conference's key themes: the ABPI's charge that the NHS is under-spending on new medicines, to the detriment of patient care.

Although it's a difficult claim to prove, given the number of factors at play, the ABPI says spending on new medicines, by which it means those launched within the last five years, is “highly likely” to be outstripped by inflation over the next three years. 

The Association also points to figures showing such spending is set to rise by 1.3 per cent each year to 2015, while overall NHS spend is expected to rise by 2.5 per cent over the same period.

But NICE's chief executive Sir Andrew Dillon, also speaking at the conference, claimed the NHS and pharma “agree on how to value new technologies”, though he acknowledged there are difficulties in knowing "how to unpick the incremental value of new medicines".

A note of caution came from Sir Ron Kerr, chief executive of Guy's and St Thomas's NHS Foundation Trust, who said: "It would be very strange if there were a linear relationship between spend on new drugs, or new anything else, and outcomes."

He added: “It is so difficult to isolate whether new drugs, or any other element of what is a complex mix, influence the ultimate outcomes.”

26th April 2013

From: Research, Sales, Marketing

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