Collaborative working between pharma and the NHS works for patients

Health Innovation Manchester and the ABPI were delighted to be shortlisted for ‘Best Pharmaceutical Partnership’ in the HSJ Partnership Awards on 20 March.

Highlighting effective partnerships with the NHS, the prestigious HSJ Partnership Awards are an annual celebration and showcase of collaborative working between the private and third sector and the NHS to deliver value for money and improved patient care through sector leading innovation and exceptional service.

The award nomination recognised the partnership work following a landmark Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the two organisations in 2017.

Gilead Sciences, CGL and the NHS were named the winners of the award during a ceremony in London for Gilead partnering with Drug Treatment Services (and the NHS) to support eliminating Hepatitis C (HCV).

Although the HInM and ABPI teams did not walk away with the award, the nomination showed how partnership working between pharma and the NHS is the way forward.

The impact of the MoU has been immediate. It has spurred a 4.4% increase in commercial studies; more effective approaches to collaborative working encompassing programme management, use of digital products and case reviews, and; an ambitious work programme with ground-breaking projects including becoming the first UK city to eliminate Hepatitis C (by 2025), optimising medication for 67,000 COPD patients and securing rebates in mental health drugs through outcomes-based pricing.

The MoU is also recalibrating the NHS relationship with the pharmaceutical industry, moving it away from traditional customer-supplier to one of collaboration with risk-sharing and co-production of solutions in partnership with their competitors and the NHS. At the same time, it is helping shift the mindset of NHS staff and patients towards viewing industry as a trustworthy partner that is part of the solution to creating a sustainable world-class health system.

Professor Ben Bridgewater, Chief Executive of Health Innovation Manchester, said: “The pharmaceutical industry plays a pivotal role in enabling the UK to provide a sustainable world-class health system with outcomes comparable to the best in the world. Our MoU is enabling the delivery of ground-breaking programmes by bringing together the collective expertise and resources of the NHS, social care and the pharmaceutical industry to transform citizens’ health and wellbeing in ways that would not have been possible without this commitment to collaboration. It is also having a significant impact on of increasing inward investment in life sciences research and encouraging sector growth.”

Mike Thompson, Chief Executive of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, said: “We are immensely proud of the effect that collaborative working is having in Greater Manchester. The ability to deliver innovation at pace and scale is excellent news for patients and if the success we are seeing in Manchester could be replicated more widely, the NHS and industry will also benefit significantly.”