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New ABPI president pledges closer collaboration with NHS

UK pharma body appoints a president and vice president for the first time

Erik Nordkamp

Pfizer UK managing director Erik Nordkamp has been confirmed as the new president of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), succeeding Lisa Anson who has held the role since April 2017.

Nordkamp says his main priorities will be to work together with the NHS to transform patient care through improved access to new drugs and vaccines, and making sure that Britain maintains its leading position in medicines discovery after Brexit.

He will be assisted in that endeavour by Haseeb Ahmad, managing director UK & Ireland for Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK, who is taking the newly-created role of ABPI vice president.

Nordkamp emphasised the importance of the pharma industry maintaining its collaborations with the NHS and the UK government “to make sure that UK patients receive world-class care at the cutting edge of what is possible today and in the future.”

With the NHS facing some of the biggest challenges in its 70-year history, Nordkamp says it is imperative that the industry “play an integral role in long-term planning” for the service – particularly as much of the transformation in healthcare is being delivered by new medicines."

Similarly, the industry’s collaboration with government in producing the Life Science Industrial Strategy “has set the right tone of partnership and agenda setting”, he says, adding that pharma must be “involved at the earliest possible stage in strategic planning” for patient care.

Both Nordkamp and Ahmad take up their new positions on 1 August, and have the considerable task of helping the ABPI navigate the UK’s exit from the EU, implementing a modern industrial strategy and agreeing a deal on UK branded medicines policy over the next five years.

ABPI chief executive Mike Thompson said they are taking over during “arguably the most challenging period for the pharmaceutical industry in the UK.”

In a recent article (subscription required) published in the Financial Times, Nordkamp called on the UK government to follow through on its industry ‘sector deal’ announced last December, arguing that Britain’s slow uptake of new medicines and potential isolation from the EMA approvals process could see the country relegated in importance as a launch market.

Writing on behalf of 10 US-headquartered pharma companies, he said that “the UK pharmaceutical industry and the patients who rely on it are under serious threat from Brexit as well as from the flawed way medicines are developed, tested and made available to patients in the country.”

Article by
Phil Taylor

6th July 2018

From: Sales

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