The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) and the UK’s NHS Confederation have launched a new piece of guidance on how to develop effective NHS-industry partnerships.

The launch of the new guidance was announced by a panel at the NHS ConfedExpo conference held in Manchester, UK, 12-13 June. It highlights how partnerships can be formed between local NHS organisations and the pharmaceutical industry to enhance patient outcomes.

The ABPI launched its own manifesto that delves into unlocking the industry’s potential to drive UK heath and economic growth on 10 June to coincide with the release of the manifestos of the major political parties.

The document frames three key ‘asks’ of the next government, setting out a plan to boost patient access to new medicines via clinical trials, bring more manufacturing jobs and value to the UK, and create more highly skilled well-paid jobs in all parts of the country.

One of the asks is for the new government to work with industry to drive better health in the UK, with a target of a 40% reduction in the total burden of disease in the country, by investing in medicines and vaccines to improve prevention and health equity.

Speaking on a panel discussing the guidelines, Pauline Hakutangwi, value and access marketing manager at Novartis UK discussed a specific collaboration involving a health and wellbeing bus in Southeast London that focused on cardiovascular disease management and health inequalities.  “It’s pretty much going around the whole of southeast London, where it provides general health counselling but also cardiovascular health education. [Anyone can] hop on and get their blood pressure and  cholesterol checked,” said Hakutangwi.

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In addition to finding opportunities to address unmet needs through collaborative projects, the panellists highlighted additional key benefits of the guidance. This included increased alignment of treatment with clinical guidelines with better health outcomes, as well as efficiency savings for the NHS through reduced length of hospital stays.

Susan Rienow, President of the ABPI said: “I think we’ve made the case pretty clear over the course of the last couple of years, the opportunity of creating successful collaborations between the sector and the NHS is massive.”