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NHS needs to invest for longer term savings, says ABPI

Chief executive Stephen Whitehead accuses health service of not seizing innovation

Stephen-WhiteheadThe 'social contract' between the UK pharmaceutical industry and the NHS has broken down and it is patients who will be more affected, according to the ABPI.

Addressing the UK pharma trade body's annual member conference its chief executive Stephen Whitehead warned this has severe implications for all stakeholders, from patients and pharma to the NHS itself.

Painting a somewhat gloomy portrait of the state of the UK's healthcare system Whitehead (pictured above) said: “I have a growing problem with the NHS, it won't invest to save longer term, its decision-making is often dictated by provider interest, rather than patients. 

“It silos its spending, it does not follow pathways, it rewards for admissions to hospital not for patients cared for at home. 

“Medicines save money in the short and longer term…so why does the NHS not seize innovation?

As a result of this the “healthcare social contract is broken in the UK”, Whitehead said, adding “the implications are severe for all stakeholders –patients, the NHS and the UK-based pharmaceutical industry”.

He acknowledged the NHS is an “incredible organisation” and said he wants “it to survive and go from strength to strength, to be a hotbed of research, best care, best medicines”. 

But to do this, he concluded, is “only possible with the adoption of new medicines”.

Yesterday's member conference in London also offered up plenty of reminders of how industry, the NHS, along with all healthcare stakeholders, would benefit from increased partnerships, transparency and access to data. 

While many speakers supported and praised the NHS, there was also a lot of frustration over poor adoption of new medicine, siloed spending and short-term approaches to savings.

The panel discussions considered topics such as how Innovation, Health and Wealth might provide joint benefits; how austerity is impacting on the NHS; and how commissioning groups are making decisions on which medicines to adopt.

9th November 2012

From: Research, Sales, Healthcare

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