Last week saw the success of the ABPI Annual Conference with innovation in medicines the key theme for the day. It also saw the transition of one ABPI President to another.
Simon Jose of GSK has served the association for the past two years and we thank him for all his hard work. We welcomed the incumbent President Deepak Khanna, Senior Vice President and MSD UK Managing Director, who will serve for one year with the option of standing for re-election in a year’s time.
Commenting on his new role, Deepak said:
"I am absolutely delighted and deeply honoured to have been given the opportunity to lead the representation of the industry at this challenging time for the pharmaceutical sector.”
The conference tackled the issue of innovation within medicine development and addressed specifically affordability, uptake and access. Key industry issues were discussed through workshops and key speeches. These included ‘Myths of the cost of medicines to the NHS’, ‘Pioneer partnerships (Innovation Pipeline)’, ‘Rewarding for risk’, ‘The affordability of innovation: what's the ideal pricing mechanism’, and ‘Is £1bn a price worth paying for research?’.
The workshops facilitated debate about the role of investment in medicines, which will play a key role in the future of the UK life sciences sector. The central role that innovative medicines will play, in the evolving UK health sector, was discussed as paramount to the future success of the industry. The plenary, workshop, and panel discussion sessions were well attended and well received by all who took part.
Speaking at the conference, Stephen Whitehead, ABPI CEO, outlined the importance of innovation. He said:
“Most importantly if we want to ensure the survival of our NHS, and we want to ensure that patients receive early access to innovative medicines that can save and improve their lives, then the answer is clear: we cannot afford not to innovate.”
The day concluded with the Annual Conference dinner where the handover from one President to another took place. Speeches from Stephen Whitehead, Deepak Khanna, and the Earl Howe touched upon the importance of medicines to the NHS, patient health, industry, and the economy.