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Margot James addresses healthcare plans

Margot James discussed the government's healthcare plans in her first speech to the pharma industry since being elected as a Conservative MP

Margot James, founder of Shire Health PR, provided pharma and agency guests with insight into the coalition government's views on healthcare in her first speech to the industry since being elected as Conservative MP for Stourbridge.

Since founding Shire Health in 1986, James said the developments in pharma had been "phenomenal" due to the industry's extensive research and development. But, she added, the regulatory burden is now so great that the UK is losing its clinical research base to Eastern Europe and the Far East. This is something Health Secretary Andrew Lansley wants to address, she added.

James talked of how the NHS fitted into David Cameron's wider vision for the country as a whole. "The new government wants to devolve greater powers and responsibilities to citizens and professionals, empowering people to take control over their lives and have greater choice. There is to be less state interference.

"Policies on healthcare and the NHS fit into this wider vision. Professionals will have greater scope to use their own judgment under the new policy. They will be free to exercise that judgment in the interests of patients rather than always in response to Whitehall-driven targets.

"The NHS will be held accountable by outcomes and less by process-driven targets. Patients and families too will have a greater say: the service will be accountable to patients at a local level."

James added that pharma has huge experience to offer the NHS – and not just in the supply of medicines. She identified opportunities for joint working in: 
• Data collection and analysis that could be put at the disposal of the NHS
• Value-based pricing
• The ability to work positively with the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE)
• Clinical research and development.

James believes NICE will move on from producing individual audits of a drug's clinical and economic benefit, towards assessing the overall management and treatment options in a disease area.

6th July 2010

From: Healthcare

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