The MAG meets quarterly to discuss high level medicines access issues and is a sub-group of the Ministerial Industry Strategy Group. The meeting brings together industry with relevant Government departments, senior health stakeholders from NICE, the National Commissioning Board and a representative from a patient group. Steve takes on the co-chairmanship of the MAG at an important time for industry, with the need to improve access to innovative medicines and treatments within the UK.
He will co-chair the group with Giles Denham, Director of the Medicines, Pharmacy & Industry Group at the Department of Health and will replace Matthew Speers, Managing Director of UCB Pharma Ltd, British and Irish Isles.
Previously, Steve played a key role for industry in the development and publication of the National Metrics Report, which evaluated NICE approved medicines and their usage and uptake within the NHS, through his role as co-chair of the Metrics Oversight Group (MOG). Since joining Sanofi, Steve has worked across a number of countries and therapy areas before becoming Managing Director of UK and Ireland in July 2009.
Commenting Stephen Whitehead, Chief Executive of the ABPI, said:
"I am delighted Steve has agreed to join the MAG and I know he will be an able and confident co-chair who will do an outstanding job at representing our industry. He has a wealth of experience and has already played a pivotal role in the development of the National Metrics Report while he co-chaired the Metrics Oversight Group. I want to also thank Matthew Speers our outgoing co-chair, for his tireless work – his contribution was hugely valued and he was a powerful advocate on access issues."
Commenting Steve Oldfield, Managing Director UK & Ireland for Sanofi, said:
"I am excited to join the MAG as co-chair and look forward to working closely with my Department of Health counterpart Giles Denham to address the UK’s continued problems with access to the latest and most innovative medicines. In joining, I want to pay tribute to Matthew Speers – he is a real credit to our industry and his chairmanship has left the Group in a strong position as I takeover. Looking ahead to the coming year, I want to push the Group forward further still and ensure that we make clear at the highest levels of Government that new, life changing medicines are all too often not reaching patients in the UK. I am particularly interested in ensuring that the findings and recommendations from the National Metrics Report, and subsequent commentaries on it, result in robust action plans to address the barriers to medicines."
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Notes to editors
The ABPI represents innovative research-based biopharmaceutical companies, large, medium 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 90 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.
The ABPI is recognised by Government as the industry body negotiating on behalf of the branded pharmaceutical industry, for statutory consultation requirements including the pricing scheme for medicines in the UK.