Eli Lilly and Company today calls on industry, academia and the NHS to do more to foster collaboration to ensure the UK maintains its global leadership position at the forefront of medicines research and discovery.
Lilly is launching a report, The Next Wave of Health Innovation: Powered by Partnerships, which highlights the unique potential the UK life sciences sector has to draw on world-class universities, a strong pharmaceutical and biosciences sector, and one of the largest single national healthcare systems in the world.
The instability caused by Brexit has made the need for collaboration more pressing than ever but despite the UK’s unique combination of assets, many significant barriers to cooperation remain. These include both ‘hard’ issues such as complexity, sustainability and scalability, but also ‘softer’ issues such as ideology, culture and lack of trust. Between 2016 and 2017 the pharmaceutical industry invested £7.5 million on joint working projects with the NHS, yet according to a recent publication by the NHS Confederation and the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), many NHS leaders feel partnership working cannot be openly disclosed.
This report exposes the extent to which collaboration between the NHS, industry and academia is essential for the UK to maintain its world-leading position in life sciences. With Brexit now imminent, and the development of new medical innovations progressing at an unprecedented rate, we are approaching a crucial point in the UK’s history of medicine. It has never been more important for the key players in healthcare to come together, break down barriers and share our knowledge, research and resources to help us discover the medicines of tomorrow. Together. Lilly is proud of its partnerships with the NHS and academia and we look forward to building on these in the years ahead."
Arash Tahbaz, Senior Medical Director, Lilly UK
In a series of recommendations, Lilly is calling on all parties across the sector to do more to create an environment that supports partnership working, including:
- Developing pre-competitive projects and public-private partnerships to respond to major societal challenges such as dementia and diabetes.
- Empower NHS clinicians to support the development of the latest medical innovations, to ensure they are patient-centered and can be effectively deployed across the NHS.
- Develop skills that will allow us to harness emerging technologies, such as digital literacy, genomics and bioinformatics.
- Maintain the attractiveness of the UK as a place to conduct research partnerships post-Brexit, through a streamlined clinical trials process, alignment with EU clinical trial regulations and greater certainty around public sector investment into R&D.
- Ensure a whole system approach on local and national levels to support joint working and embrace innovation
This report outlines many of the challenges and opportunities of this healthcare revolution and identifies where the Government and all stakeholders should do more to reduce the barriers to partnership working and foster collaboration. All stakeholders must acknowledge and act on these recommendations as a matter of urgency. Only then will patients truly benefit from the next wave of innovation."
Stephen Dorrell, Former Chair of the NHS Confederation