Stephen Whitehead, CEO of the ABPI, gives his first public speech and explains his vision for the future of the pharmaceutical industry


The new face and voice of the pharmaceutical industry, Stephen Whitehead, CEO of the ABPI (Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry), will give his first public speech tomorrow evening at the ABPI’s Innovation Reception, where the ABPI will launch its latest report: The Vision for Real World Data – Harnessing the Opportunities in the UK, at the new ABPI offices in Victoria, London.

Introduced to the public on Friday in an interview with The Times, a major part of Stephen’s role is to act as an advocate for the industry. Stephen, who has a background working in communications, said:

“I am delighted to have the opportunity to serve as an advocate for the industry I am passionately committed to. We have done an immeasurable amount of good over the years – many of our friends and family are alive now only because of the pharmaceutical industry.

“I hope to be able to have a positive effect in this role and convey just how important this industry is to our healthcare system and our economy.”

Stephen’s speech will cover a range of critical issues relating to the industry, including:

  • Joint working partnerships. The advent of real world data use is one example of how joint working can benefit industry, NHS, and patients.
  • The industry has evolved. We have moved beyond purchaser and seller transactional relationships; this next era will be based on partnerships and collaboration.
  • Innovation is the key to success. The UK needs to encourage faster uptake of innovative new medicines.
  • Industry needs to improve its reputation. Reputation challenges discourage joint working, and are detrimental to the industry, the NHS and patient health.

Stephen’s speech also discusses the launch of the new report The Vision for Real World Data – Harnessing the Opportunities in the UK. The report makes a series of recommendations on how the NHS and the industry can collect and utilise Real World data to the benefit of all parties.


Media contact

Andrew Swailes, Media Officer
Tel: 020 7747 1441
Mobile: 07808 641810

About the ABPI

We represent innovative research-based biopharmaceutical companies, both large and small, leading an exciting new era of biosciences in the UK. 

Our industry, a major contributor to the economy of the UK, brings life-saving and life-enhancing medicines to patients. Our members supply 80 per cent of all medicines used by the NHS, and are researching and developing over two-thirds of the current medicines pipeline, ensuring that the UK remains at the forefront of helping patients prevent and overcome diseases. 

Working with our Research Affiliate Members, leaders in pharmaceutical R&D, is vital in promoting the UK as a destination of choice for international life sciences investment.

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