Health White Paper

​We welcomed the opportunity to make comments on the White Paper published on 12 July 2010. We and our members reviewed the proposals with great interest and presented some important considerations that we believe are necessary in taking this quality agenda forward.

Our vision for the future

Clinicians/commissioners will focus on achieving better patient outcomes supported by Quality Standards which include the use of new technologies.

Once the value of a medicine has been established in delivering these outcomes, NHS clinicians should have the confidence to prescribe it, for all eligible patients, without the need for further bureaucracy or local value assessments or through burdensome funding allocation processes. A new partnership could then be forged, with the NHS working in partnership with industry to deliver better patient outcomes.

We welcome the fact that the White Paper recognises the need to build on Lord Darzi's work. His review (High Quality Care For All, NHS Next Stage Report), particularly highlighted the need to “foster a pioneering NHS” through:

“Ensuring that clinically and cost effective innovation in medicines and medical technologies is adopted. We will strengthen the horizon scanning process for new medicines in development, involving industry systematically to support better forward planning and develop ways to measure uptake. For new medical technologies, we will simplify the pathway by which they pass from development into wider use, and develop ways to benchmark and monitor uptake.”

We certainly share this vision and would like to see it implemented.

Our key principles 

  • The pharmaceutical industry should be seen as a valuable partner rather than simply a supplier of medicines
  • Active engagement of all stakeholders is vital, including the pharmaceutical industry, at all levels of the NHS. Degrees of stakeholder engagement should be measured and built into Constitutions of all decision-making bodies, from the local consortia level to NICE and the NHS Commissioning Board
  • All processes must be transparent, consistent and translatable to all levels of the NHS
  • Patients must be at the heart of the future NHS, with patient choice, access to medicines and patient outcomes as the key pillars of success
  • A culture that embraces innovation, including swift adoption of best practice, must be truly embedded within the health system
  • Bureaucracy should be minimised at all levels, with particular emphasis on not duplicating decisions at local levels, to facilitate rapid uptake of innovative medicines
  • Accountability at all levels of the health system must be clear and transparent to ensure implementation of decisions and avoid, and tackle if necessary, any system failures.

Key points

The pharmaceutical industry, as a key contributor to health improvements, must take part in decision-making on key aspects of the White Paper, in particular in: 

  • Generating best practice "holistic" commissioning leading to better patient outcomes, with a representative role on the NHS Commissioning Board as well as at the local commissioning level 
  • Industry’s representation in developing the outcomes framework including patient reported outcome measures and NICE Quality Standards 
  • Co-creating measures to drive adoption and uptake of innovative medicines 
  • Co-creating the value-based approach to the way that pharmaceutical companies are paid for NHS medicines
  • Building on the research and development base that the NHS can offer.

Further information 

Please download the ABPI Health White Paper response (PDF, 536KB)

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