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Why we must protect future innovation opportunities

Ahead of the ABPI's annual conference on 10 April, CEO Stephen Whitehead looks at securing a future for innovative medicines

Stephen WhiteheadThe UK is a world leader in medical innovation; however it also has one of the poorest records on the adoption and diffusion of innovation within our healthcare system. This has a significant impact on patients as innovation is critical to patients' treatment choices.

For the pharmaceutical industry, encouraging the uptake of innovation across a cash- strapped health service remains a significant challenge to be faced. There is a crisis in public spending driven by Government deficits. This challenge is reflected in the latest pricing deal (Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme 2014), which sees the pharmaceutical industry underwriting growth in the medicines bill, within agreed boundaries, and aims to transform the UK landscape on the adoption and diffusion of much needed innovation.

Society has benefited from treatments that have large patient population coverage, as advances in science and technology increasingly permit industry to shift towards a more focused and personalised approach. For instance, companion diagnostic tests based on biomarkers can be developed to test large groups of patients and predict how they will respond to a certain treatment.

This year, the ABPI's annual conference, taking place on 10 April, will be held at a time when we are seeing a shift in the medicines development paradigm and will focus on how we can secure a future for innovative medicines. Our expert speakers and panellists will share their insights in to how they see the drug development world changing and how industry and the NHS must respond to this new environment.

Delegates will hear from a wide range of speakers and panellists including: Andrew Dillon, chief executive of NICE; Miles Ailing, director of innovation at NHS England; and Dr Jeremy Haigh, European chief operating officer, research and development at Amgen.

Joining them will be Dr Doug Brown, director of research and development, at the Alzheimer's Society; Dr Penny Dash, director, at McKinsey; and panel members from industry and patient groups.

The ABPI will also be launching a new publication at the event The Future Innovation Landscape which will provide an overview on the changes to drug development, requiring greater links between commercial and R&D environments. The report will also explore how the NHS could adapt to this new environment to ensure the UK remains at the forefront of R&D.

I am looking forward to welcoming industry colleagues alongside a range of stakeholders from across the NHS, Government and the life sciences sector to the conference, which is a must for anyone operating in the UK commercial environment.

For more information, please visit the ABPI Annual Conference website

Article by
Stephen Whitehead

CEO of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI)

24th March 2014

From: Research, Sales, Marketing

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