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ABPI Launches New toolkit to help NHS and industry work together

The ABPI has launched new guidance to make sure that joint working between the NHS and industry delivers ‘a triple win’ in benefits for patients, the NHS and companies.

The guidance sets out a ten-step process to scope, set up and monitor joint working projects, while making sure they are completely transparent for patients and the public.

Examples of joint working projects include:

  • Identification of undiagnosed patients
  • Improving patient adherence to medicines
  • Contributions to nurse services
  • Increasing NHS system capacity to treat patients

Joint working projects are defined as being situations where pharmaceutical companies, the NHS and others pool skills, experience and resources for the joint development of patient-centred projects.

Launching the guidance, ABPI Chief Executive Mike Thompson said:

“The benefits of joint working are significant for all concerned – higher quality care, lower hospital admissions and more appropriate use of medicines.

“I hope this guidance will give people in companies and the NHS the confidence to work together in new ways, and kickstart many successful new joint working projects.”

In one case study highlighted in the guidance, Bayer’s ‘Don’t Wait to Anticoagulate’ collaboration with the West of England AHSN delivered a project to help prevent strokes amongst patients with Atrial Fibrillation (AF) by optimising medicines management in primary care. 13 strokes have been avoided, reducing the overall burden of care to the NHS and saving significant sums of money.

In another example referenced in the guidance, Pfizer Vaccines is working with Pharmacy London and NHS England to increase public awareness and boost adolescent uptake of meningococcal ACWY commissioned services.

The document includes legal guidance on joint working, to help make sure that projects comply with data protection and competition law. It also makes clear that joint working projects must be underpinned by a formal Joint Working Agreement, an executive summary of which must be made publicly available before the project begins.

Agreements must also include an exit strategy, contingency arrangements, clear milestones and a commitment to measure, sustain and document outcomes to facilitate replication and scaling across the NHS.