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Stratified medicines face uptake challenges in the NHS

But 90% of HCPs believe the area will have a positive impact on the health system
Stratified med NHS

Healthcare professionals are receptive to the emerging field of stratified - or personalised - medicines, particularly those with non-cancer applications, according to a new industry poll.

Research by UK trade body the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) found 90% of clinicians and other healthcare professionals believe stratified medicine will have a positive impact on the country's health system.

Bina Rawal, the ABPI's research, medical and innovation director, said: "Stratified medicine has real potential to change the way we identify and manage health problems and we have an exceptional opportunity in the UK to realise the benefits of stratified medicines for patients and the health service. 

"Already significant progress has been made in the treatment of a number of cancers and this report highlights the number of non-cancer applications already in use in the NHS and the increasing interest and enthusiasm amongst health professionals of further adopting their use."

Several stratified medicines for cancer have been launched in the UK, including Pfizer's Xalkori, Roche's Tarceva and AstraZeneca's Iressa - but they have tended to face difficulties when it comes to NICE appraisal.

They look set to be joined by a new generation of non-cancer medicines over the coming years and 61% of the 300 health professionals polled by Concentra Consulting for the ABPI's Stratified Medicine in the NHS report said they had a 'high interest' in emerging uses of non-cancer stratified medicines. However, just 25% said they currently had good access to non-cancer stratified medicines in their area.

There are currently 41 applications for non-cancer stratified medicines, with those indication for infection, followed by respiratory and cardiovascular disease, leading the way. 

Releasing its report yesterday, the ABPI called for:

  • Improved horizon scanning to ensure commissioners and providers have the information they need to plan effectively
  • Better coordination among stakeholders during the launch phase to reduce barriers to uptake
  • A coordinated and consistent commissioning approach to be developed to support networked diagnostic service provision
  • Better management of the sample pathway to avoid delays and risks to cost and service quality
  • A networked approach to diagnostic service provision to encourage high quality, cost effective delivery
  • Improved clinical decision making by encouraging development and use of decision support systems.

Prof Ian Cree, chair of the Royal College of Pathologists's interspeciality committee on molecular pathology, said: "We know that there is currently a significant lack of clarity around which non-cancer application stratified medicines are being researched and developed and how they are being deployed in the NHS.

“This report provides a baseline understanding from which we can start to seek solutions for balancing the ecosystem to create a health system that will allow stratified medicines to flourish in the UK for the benefit of patients."

21st November 2014

From: Research, Sales

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