​Our November Conference, which this year will look at innovation in healthcare, provides us with an opportunity to highlight the importance of innovation.


Healthcare innovation is critical. To reemphasise the points I made in my recent speech at the ABPI Innovation reception; innovation is fundamental to the on-going success of our industry, and it is critical to balancing the economics of our healthcare economy. But, most importantly, healthcare innovation is vital to patient healthcare; if we are going to fulfil future unmet clinical need then we must continue to innovate.

But what is innovation?

Innovation is a long, expensive and uncertain process of experimentation and development. It is a 12-15 year journey that starts in the laboratory, and moves through toxicology research and the three phases of clinical trials. It costs over £1billion to develop a medicine from molecule to market – with no guarantee of success. But innovation doesn’t end when a product enters the market. Innovation is also iterative, and continues throughout the patient pathway.

So this year’s conference is a great opportunity for myself and the NHS Confederation’s Mike Farrar, along with representatives of the pharmaceutical industry, researchers and academics from the healthcare sector, to examine this important issue. We will discuss how innovation unites us; how we price and value innovation; our need to embrace innovation; and how we can improve our work – with all our stakeholders, patient groups and the NHS.

I hope you can join us on Thursday 3 November 2011 at the Royal Society, Carlton Terrace SW1Y: www.abpiannualevent.com

Stephen Whitehead
CEO of the ABPI

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