I hope you all agree that, today, we have heard some fascinating speeches from a range of engaging and intelligent speakers. I would like to thank all of the speakers for their time and valuable input.
We’ve heard some key themes around how we should look for the opportunities rather than always focusing on the challenges, and how this will benefit us in a range of landscapes. To look for new ways to approach the R&D pathway, how to support the NHS on their evolution…or should I say revolution, and how we keep the patient at the centre of our thinking.
In my opinion, this range of speakers reflects an important milestone for our industry. There have been challenging times but, during this time, we have worked hard to earn the right to call NHS England, NICE, and many others our ‘partners.’
The presence of so many partners here reflects how far we have come and – with even greater collaboration – the opportunities we have in the future. Government, NHSE, NICE, regulators, clinicians, patient organisations and industry in partnership, working together on the core mission of improving the lives of millions of people in the UK.
We provide more than a quarter of private sector investment in UK research and development. Yet, access to life-saving and innovative medicines we develop remains an issue all over the UK. It poses a serious threat to the NHS’s sustainability and to patients’ health and wellbeing.
It is also a threat to UK economic growth. Not only does the low and slow phenomenon deny patients access to life-saving treatments, it also deters investment in our industry. This has the knock-on effect of reducing the ability of the UK to develop future innovative medicines, impacting on the skills and research base.
But I am here to talk about our success – relationships we have strengthened, partnerships we have formed and our response to the most significant NHS changes that may ever be seen.
And, as I come to the end of my time as ABPI President, the opportunities we have for greater success in the future which links with much of what we’ve heard from the speakers today.
Over the past two years we have developed stronger relationships and collaborations with our partners and stakeholders. In doing so, we have found more and more ways to put our ‘customers’ first – better understanding the needs of patients and the NHS, and how best to meet those needs.
This activity has started to change perceptions of our industry. Stakeholders are recognising that pharma is not too big and unwieldy. They recognise that we are a key healthcare partner.
They recognise that we are part of the solution.
I would like to make reference to what I believe is the stand-out example of our approach to collaboration – as well as representing an enormous opportunity for patients, the NHS and the industry.
I am referring, of course, to the new PPRS.
As many of you know, negotiations for the new pricing deal were some of the most complex ever undertaken by our industry. But they were entirely necessary.
We – as industry – have set the wheels in motion to address the access and innovative medicines challenge, and help to boost investment and growth in the UK.
While it was not without compromise, the new PPRS provides a framework to maintain the UK as a strategic market and the opportunity to transform access of medicines to patients.
We now need the Government and NHS to respond to this opportunity. With smarter use of medicines, we can produce savings throughout the health system and improve outcomes for patients – but we need an environment that embraces innovation and recognises that simply cutting medicines spend, in order to deliver short-term savings, is not the right approach. The UK should not only be a leader in developing innovative medicines but also a leader in using this innovation for the benefit of patients.
I finish my time as President with one overwhelming sense – and that is pride. Pride in an industry that makes a difference to people’s lives. Pride at how we have responded to the most challenging of times for our business. Pride at the relationships built and all of our work in delivering better healthcare to the people of the UK.
We are a business like no other. I am proud of what we have achieved. But believe the best is yet to come.
Before I close, I want to say a special thank you to Justin Webb for doing such an excellent job facilitating today as well as our great speakers. I also want to thank our sponsors and exhibitors and to thank you, the audience, for your attention and participation today.
If you are about to head home, I wish you a safe journey. For those of you staying with us, this room will now being prepared for tonight’s dinner, and the reception will begin at 6.45 in the Plaza Suites upstairs. All that remains for me to say is thank you for your continued support for this vital industry and thank you for your participation today.