Continuing to deliver a fair deal for patients in Wales ABPI Cymru



Continuing to deliver a fair deal for patients in Wales ABPI Cymru
ABPI Cymru Wales
Spring 2015
Edition 10
Continuing to deliver a fair deal
for patients in Wales
Dr Richard Greville, Director – ABPI Cymru
Wales (pictured) outlines the pharmaceutical
industry’s work in Wales in 2014 – and looks
ahead to changes to come in 2015.
Last year I highlighted the new five-year pricing
agreement which has been negotiated between the
Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry
(ABPI) and the UK Government to help ensure that
patients across the UK, including in Wales, could
be prescribed the medicines they need, when they
need them, with industry underwriting the cost.
Under this Pharmaceutical Pricing Regulatory
Scheme (PPRS), the pharmaceutical industry has agreed to keep expenditure
on branded medicines, which are newer, innovative treatments prescribed in the
hospital or by your GP, in the scheme flat for two years and within agreed controlled
growth levels for a further three years. The industry has committed to underwrite
any further expenditure by the NHS with agreed exclusions.
Companies involved in this scheme – representing 93% of the UK branded
pharmaceutical industry – make percentage payments based on any difference
between the allowed and actual growth in NHS expenditure on branded medicines.
Across the UK, for the first nine months of 2014, this has amounted to the
pharmaceutical industry paying £229 million to the Department of Health, a proportion
of which will be distributed to the Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish Governments.
This agreement clearly demonstrates the industry’s commitment to improving health
outcomes for patients in Wales, but the deal cannot fix longstanding problems
by itself. I welcome the increased funding to the front line of the health service in
Wales in the Welsh Government’s recent budget announcements. This is a much
needed injection of cash and we are pleased to have been able to contribute toward
this additional investment through the new PPRS, which delivers a share of its
payments, based on medicines prescribed, to the Welsh Government. This is a
positive example of the pharmaceutical industry working with the NHS and we hope
it allows Health Boards more resources to enable more people to access effective
new medicines.
The Minister directly recognised the value of the PPRS payments to Wales when
he announced that some of the money would allow the evolution and expansion of
the All Wales Medicines Strategy Group (AWMSG), which determines the clinical
and cost effectiveness of medicines and whose positive recommendation, after
Ministerial ratification, should ensure a medicine is funded within NHS Wales. I
certainly echo the Minister’s wish for this investment to further open “up the
opportunity for more new, cost-effective medicines to be routinely available in a
timely manner across Wales.” However, I need to strike a note of caution in this
good news as the jury remains ‘out’ at this early stage of change. It is important that
if some of the money made available from PPRS is used to provide an additional
expert view on whether a medicine should be routinely available to patients in
Wales, we should expect that view to make a real difference in access to the
In this issue
• Continuing to deliver
a fair deal for patients
in Wales
• Vaccines – why it’s
important to be protected
• Prudent Healthcare –
medicines, it’s
everybody’s business
• MSD joins Life Sciences
Hub Wales
• Novartis and the NHS
work together to improve
sight loss services for
local people
• Medicines knowledge
base - opportunity costs
of implementing NICE
decisions in NHS Wales
• New Chair of the ABPI
Cymru Wales Industry
Group - Robyn Miles –
Head of External Affairs/
Senior Government
Relations Manager for
GSK in Wales
ABPI Cymru Wales Bulletin
Spring 2015
Edition 10
Continuing to deliver a fair deal for patients in Wales continued.
medicines that patients, and their clinicians, believe to be
most appropriate.
provides the opportunity to do this, as it removes a financial
risk and provides predictability in the cost of branded
medicines during its five-year term.
NHS Wales can be a leader in making new, effective
medicines rapidly and consistently available, so that the
right patient gets the right medicine at the right time. PPRS
Vaccines – why it’s important to be protected
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), vaccines
help to prevent more than 2.5 million deaths each year across the
world that would otherwise occur without vaccination. Vaccines
are one of the greatest breakthroughs in modern medicine,
protecting the public from preventable disease and saving lives
whilst preventing ill health.
The ongoing outbreak of Ebola in West Africa has shown the
challenges of containing a virulent, infectious disease. The effort
to defeat Ebola is focused on infection prevention and control by
establishing quarantine conditions and supplying medical staff
with personal protective equipment, including gloves, gowns and
masks. Rigorous infection control remains the best defence when
these outbreaks occur, but vaccines to prevent and medicines to
treat the infection could make a vital contribution to defeating this
disease. Several experimental vaccines for Ebola are currently
being tested, with some early effectiveness being proven. If
the results, which are expected by the end of the year, are
successful, stocks could immediately be made available to the
World Health Organisation (WHO) to allow emergency use in
high-risk populations such as healthcare workers.
This winter, on the advice of their GP, nurse or pharmacist, it is
important for all groups at risk of seasonal flu (influenza) to be
vaccinated. The human cost of influenza in 2012/13 was up to
11,000 deaths and it has been estimated the increased call on
the NHS could cost the UK health service up to £22 million over
the coming months.
2014 saw a nasal spray flu vaccine being offered for the first time to
all children between two and four years old, and children in school
Year 7, as part of the NHS childhood vaccination programme. The
vaccine is given as a nasal spray squirted up each nostril. Not only
is it needle-free (of course, a big advantage for children), but NHS
Direct Wales has said that the nasal spray works even better than
the injected flu vaccine in children. The nasal spray flu vaccine will
not only help to protect a child from getting flu, but it also stops the
disease spreading from them to their family, carers and the wider
population. This is known as ‘herd immunity’- a form of immunity
that occurs when part of a population is vaccinated, providing
a measure of protection for individuals who are not vaccinated.
It is difficult for a disease to spread because there are so few
susceptible people left to infect, which can then effectively stop the
spread of disease in the community.
There will be many more potentially life-saving vaccines in
the years to come. The pharmaceutical industry continues to
develop innovative treatments and prevention tools for infectious
diseases as an important part of its research-based portfolio; this
includes research on 97 new medicines and vaccines for HIV/
AIDS, 34 for malaria and 25 for tuberculosis.
The ABPI supports the use of the right medicine, with the right
patient at the right time and believes that when governments
prioritise and invest in the purchase of medicines and vaccines
as a public health intervention, it is worthwhile and cost effective.
Appropriate access helps lower overall healthcare costs by reducing
the need for hospitalisation and expensive, invasive procedures.
It is important that all children and babies are fully vaccinated
to protect them from potentially serious diseases. Illnesses that
were once common, like diphtheria and tetanus, are now rare in
the UK, because of immunisation. But, whilst polio and smallpox
have been eliminated in Europe, measles and meningitis still
pose a real threat of life-long disability and death. In fact, in
March 2013, a measles epidemic was declared in Swansea, with
1,219 cases confirmed and one death. A decrease in the uptake
of the MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) triple vaccine was cited
as one reason for the increase in measles cases, which reduced
the ‘herd immunity’. In the Swansea area at the time, the uptake
of the vaccine had fallen to 67.5%.
Adults also benefit from immunisations, and, in particular, specific
vulnerable groups in society who may be at risk should ensure
they are up to date with the appropriate vaccinations for them.
People who are planning to travel outside of the UK may need
vaccinations against some of the serious diseases found in other
parts of the world.
ABPI Cymru Wales Bulletin
Spring 2015
Edition 10
Prudent Healthcare – medicines, it’s everybody’s business
The report from a conference held in Cardiff last summer to
discuss the role of medicines in prudent healthcare has been
published. The conference saw healthcare professionals,
patients, academics and the pharmaceutical industry join
forces to discuss the opportunities and challenges of Prudent
Healthcare in relation to the prescribing of medicines in Wales.
Jointly sponsored by the Bevan Commission and ABPI Cymru
Wales, the conference was part of the ongoing conversation
being encouraged by the Welsh Government Health Minister,
Mark Drakeford, with the aim of delivering a new vision of
healthcare to the people of Wales.
some countries, evidence shows that an estimated 30% of all
healthcare spending is unnecessary and does not add value
in care. On the other hand medicines, are already heavily
scrutinised and regulated, requiring an extensive evidence base
which demonstrates their ability to deliver outcomes – this is how
they become licensed. This is surely fundamental to delivering
prudent healthcare.”
The public conversation on the move towards a prudent
approach to delivering care in NHS Wales is being led by the
Bevan Commission – an international group of healthcare
experts who advise the Minister for Health and Social Services
on ways that Wales can draw on best practice from across the
world. Chair of the Bevan Commission, Professor Sir Mansel
Aylward, who also spoke at the conference added:
At the heart of Prudent Healthcare are the principles shared by
the Health Minister in the Western Mail in January 2014:
“… to an age of austerity as it makes it absolutely clear that
every pound spent has got to be spent in the most effective
way. One strong theme of the prudent medicine approach is
that we do not have lots of expensive and ineffective services.
It puts clinicians in charge of the way that access to services
is organised and it’s really amalgamated with clinical decisionmaking. It also has a strong association with tackling health
“All of us who are involved in Prudent Healthcare are convinced
that an ongoing conversation with the public is at its heart. The
Bevan Commission is actively seeking opportunities to discuss
the principles of prudency with the general public, debate its
principles and co-develop plans as to how its adoption can be
encouraged. This conference was an important stepping stone in
that conversation – but the talking goes on!”
Dr Rick Greville, Director of ABPI Cymru Wales, contested at the
conference that innovative medicines have a significant role to
play right across the Prudent Healthcare agenda. He said:
The publication is available in online and print formats from
the ABPI website alongside the graphical representation of
discussions from the day (by Eleanor Beer
“Looking across the pond to Canada and the USA, who are
developing a similar approach to healthcare called ‘Choosing
Wisely’, both physicians and patients are encouraged to talk
about medical tests and procedures that may be unnecessary
and, in some instances, lead to harm. Optimising value and
eliminating waste in medical care is a worldwide concern. In
Further information on the work of the Bevan Commission is
available at, with more information
on Prudent Healthcare available at
MSD joins Life Sciences Hub Wales
In January 2015, MSD joined the Life Sciences Hub Wales at
3 Assembly Square, Cardiff Bay. The Hub represents a major
commitment by the Welsh Government to this sector and
MSD is delighted to be involved in supporting a thriving Life
Sciences eco-system in Wales. MSD is the UK subsidiary of
Merck & Co., Inc., a leading healthcare company that discovers,
develops, manufactures and markets a wide range of innovative
pharmaceutical products to improve human health.
Hertfordshire headquarters employing a new team in Biostatistics
and Research Decision Sciences (BARDS), and further funding of
clinical research in oncology and dementia.
Mike Nally, UK Managing Director at MSD, welcomed the
establishment of the new Hub in Wales saying: “Membership of the
Life Sciences Hub Wales is an important part of our aim to develop
better links and true partnerships in Wales which align with the
priorities of NHS Wales and the needs of patients in Wales.”
About MSD: We believe the most important thing we make is a
difference. We operate in more than 140 countries and through
our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, and
animal health products we work with customers to bring innovative
healthcare solutions to those who need them the most. We also
demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to healthcare
through far-reaching policies, programmes and partnerships. For
more information, visit The company is known
as Merck in the United States and Canada. Everywhere else, the
Company is known as MSD which is a trade name of Merck & Co.,
Inc., with headquarters in Kenilworth, NJ, USA.
The decision to join the Wales Hub further cements MSD’s
commitment to the UK to extend beyond the realms of academic
and clinical research to find innovative ways to use data and
technology to transform healthcare and in turn, patients’ lives.
MSD has committed substantial investment to research and
manufacturing in the UK because of the unrivalled scientific
excellence and skills base available here. The decision to join the
Life Sciences Hub Wales follows on from MSD’s announcement of
plans to invest a minimum of £42 million over the next three years
to create a new licensing hub in London, expand research at its
ABPI Cymru Wales Bulletin
Spring 2015
Edition 10
Novartis and the NHS work together to improve sight loss
services for local people
Local people with common and treatable eye conditions will
now benefit from significantly reduced patient waiting times
and a more streamlined experience in the clinic, thanks to the
opening of a new unit for macular services at the University
Hospital of Wales (UHOW), Cardiff. The expansion to the
Hospital’s existing services is the result of a joint working
partnership between Novartis Pharmaceuticals and the Cardiff
and Vale University Health Board.
It is estimated that about 20,000 people are diagnosed with wet
age related macular degeneration (AMD) in the UK each year.
In Wales, over 1,000 patients develop the condition annually
and the numbers continue to rise. Cardiff and Vale University
Health Board is one of the largest NHS organisations in Wales.
The current macular service at UHOW is treating more than
600 patients per month. However, each month has seen an
increase in the number of patients with wet AMD who require
measurement, examination and treatment at different stages of
their management. The expanded service will allow 100 more
patients to be treated per week.
Mark Drakeford AM, Minister for Health and Social Services officially
opens the new site at the University Hospital of Wales with (from
second left, back row): Sanjiv Banerjee, Consultant Ophthalmologist;
Fred Guerard, Managing Director of Novartis UK and Ireland;
Novartis team and Cardiff and Vale University Health Board
The bespoke unit, along with additional staff, will allow the
Hospital to adopt a new approach to managing the different
phases of the wet AMD disease cycle through the creation of
five dedicated one-stop clinic sessions, two virtual clinic sessions
and two reporting sessions per week. In addition, two new
interconnecting clean rooms will improve the efficiency and flow
of the patients who require intra-vitreal injection and release
valuable theatre space for more complex eye procedures.
access to these vital services.”
Frederic Guerard, Managing Director United Kingdom and
Ireland, Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Ltd. added:
“The launch is the result of a lot of hard work by a number of
people. They all share the same dedication to the specialist
care of people with eye conditions. These conditions can have
a significant impact on patient quality of life if not appropriately
treated and managed. We are proud to work with the NHS
to identify solutions which address unmet clinical need and
promote excellence in ophthalmology. This new service builds
on the great work in eye care that has already taken place at
the University Hospital of Wales,”
At the launch of the new site, Mr Sanjiv Banerjee, Consultant
Ophthalmologist said:
“This new unit will enable the macular team to meet patient
demand and ensure that increasing numbers of wet AMD
patients in the area receive the care that they need and reduce
waiting times. This partnership is an important example of
industry and the NHS working together to improve patient
Medicines knowledge base - opportunity costs of
implementing NICE decisions in NHS Wales
On Tuesday 9 December, ABPI Cymru Wales brought together
patient organisations and political researchers to hear Jon
Sussex, Deputy Director of the Office of Health Economics
(OHE), discuss the recent OHE report entitled Opportunity costs
of implementing NICE decisions in NHS Wales.
The report, commissioned by ABPI’s American Pharma Group,
examines the implementation of NICE appraisal decisions in
NHS Wales. Many of the patient organisations in attendance
took the opportunity to question Jon on issues of equity,
availability and transparency.
ABPI Cymru Wales Bulletin
Spring 2015
Edition 10
New Chair of the ABPI Cymru Wales Industry Group Robyn Miles – Head of External Affairs / Senior
Government Relations Manager for GSK in Wales
Robyn’s role as Head of External Affairs / Government Relations
Manager for GSK in Wales means that she is responsible for
engaging, developing and managing the company’s relationships
with the people who shape all Welsh policy on health in general,
and specifically medicines and clinical services.
Robyn has worked for GSK and within the NHS environment
for over 20 years in numerous roles, engaging with NHS
customers from primary and secondary care, and customers
at both a national, political and Local Health Board level. She
has an excellent understanding of the Welsh NHS and political
environment including the similarities and differences with the
other three nations in the UK.
Robyn has been an active member of ABPI Wales Industry
Group (WIG) group for the past nine years and in the last couple
of years has held the position of WIG Industry Representative on
the All Wales Prescribing Industry Group (AWPAG), Chair of the
ABPI WIG Respiratory sub-group and most recently has become
Chair of ABPI WIG.
Robyn has two children and loves working in Wales and enjoys
speaking Welsh when she can.
“I feel privileged to be working with so many people who share the
vision of giving the people of Wales the best healthcare possible,”
she said.
Who we are
The ABPI represents innovative research-based
biopharmaceutical companies, large, medium and small,
leading an exciting new era of biosciences in the UK.
thirds of the current medicines pipeline, ensuring that the
UK remains at the forefront of helping patients prevent and
overcome diseases.
Our industry, a major contributor to the economy of the UK,
brings life-saving and life-enhancing medicines to patients.
Our members supply 90 per cent of all medicines used by
the NHS, and are researching and developing over two-
The ABPI is recognised by government as the industry body
negotiating on behalf of the branded pharmaceutical industry,
for statutory consultation requirements including the pricing
scheme for medicines in the UK.
For further information about any of the issues in this
Bulletin or about ABPI Cymru Wales, please contact:
Dr Richard Greville,
Director ABPI Cymru Wales
Email: [email protected] Tel: 029 20 454297

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