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UK pharma 'must prove value' to the NHS

Facing unprecedented financial pressures, it is imperative companies continue to evolve

The UK pharmaceutical industry has made dramatic changes to its business practices in the last 10 years, but demonstrating value to the health service has never been more important, according to a leading consultant.

Michael Thomas, partner in AT Kearney's global health practice, told PMLiVE that the key to doing this successfully will be to prove value in terms that are meaningful to the NHS.

“There is no doubt companies in the UK face unprecedented financial pressure in the NHS. It is imperative to demonstrate value in terms that the NHS itself understands.”

Thomas, who also serves as a judge for PMGroup's Pharmaceutical Market Excellence Awards (PMEAs), said that as the government's structural reforms of the NHS unfold it is “quite clear that we're moving to a very different commercial environment”.

This will include new structures of influences, such as the clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) that will shortly take over from primary care trusts and the NHS Commissioning Board that launched last October.

As the true impact of the Health and Social Care Act, which became law in March, becomes known, further change will be needed. But Thomas says the UK pharma industry has already proved it can change with the times.

“Go back 10 years when we had mega-brands and global branding and companies have changed. So I don't fear for the industry's ability to adapt.

“We've already moved from brand marketing to customer marketing, now pharma needs to go one step further and become really focused on payer needs,” he says, adding: “Staying still is definitely not an option.”

And Thomas says the PMEA scheme provides a useful way for pharmaceutical companies to recognise and celebrate their ability to innovate.

“As an industry we are going to need to innovate to survive, and that means not just our products, but also our business models, what we offer above and beyond our products, how we sell, how we market.

“One of the things that PMEA does really effectively is to encourage companies to celebrate their achievements and innovation in terms of how they tackle all these challenges,” Thomas said.

PMEA 2012 will take place in London on Thursday 29 November and the entry deadline for this year's awards is Thursday 30 August

24th August 2012

From: Sales, Marketing, Healthcare

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