The need for patient involvement has been recognised as key to providing better health outcomes for patients in Scotland, and issues surrounding how best this may be achieved will be discussed tonight (Tuesday 2) at the fourth annual December dinner and debate entitled "Patient Involvement and Better Outcomes - Is knowledge good for your health?", hosted by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry in Scotland.
Leading figures will gather at The Hub in Edinburgh to hear Drummond Paris, ABPI Board of Management and Chief Executive of Novartis Pharmaceuticals, highlight the importance of the pharmaceutical industry's role in facilitating patient involvement. He will say that the researchers, developers and manufacturers of prescription medicines in the UK should be allowed to utilise their unique position to provide authoritative information about disease, treatment and medicines, for the benefit of patients.
He will argue that the pharmaceutical industry should be allowed to provide accurate, balanced and scientifically sound information about medicines directly to patients if they are to participate fully in their own healthcare management.
A MORI survey, commissioned by ABPI Scotland in October as part of Ask About Medicines Week, showed that a significant number of the public do not believe that there is enough information about medicines available to them, and that there should be a variety of sources from which that information may be freely obtained, including the pharmaceutical industry.
"While the information age offers ever more opportunities to gather information about health and health care, previously only available to healthcare professionals, not all of it is reliable," Drummond Paris told the debate entitled "Patient Involvement and Better Outcomes - Is knowledge good for your health?"
"Patients are taking an increasing interest in their health and want to know more about the medicines they are prescribed, and are actively encouraged by the Scottish Executive, doctors, nurses, pharmacists and patient groups to make their voice heard when decisions on their healthcare management are being made.
"Patients deserve to have a wide range of reliable and viable information to allow them to make the best choices, but the real experts on medicines are not allowed by law to play their role."
Chairing proceedings will be Pennie Taylor, leading commentator and broadcaster.
Jim Eadie, Director of ABPI Scotland said "Everyone now accepts that patients have a right to participate in decisions made about their health. But they can only do this effectively if they have access to all relevant sources of expert information, including that about medicines."
For further information, please contact: ABPI Press Office 020 7747 1410