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  • Overcoming pharma’s fear of social media

    The time has come for UK pharmaceutical companies to put their heads together and overcome the industry’s social media phobia. Ask anyone in pharma how well the industry uses social media and you’ll probably get a derisory snort, at best.

    Infectious diseases – not gone and not forgotten

    2016 has been quite the year from many perspectives. A recent editorial in The Lancet highlights some of the health-related topics that have arisen over the past 12 months and one of the main topics mentioned from this year struck a chord. I have worked in infectious diseases for longer than I care to remember, in research, medical education and also from a patient support perspective.

    NHS 2017 outlook: a year of discontent?

    2017 will mark the 5th anniversary of the passing of Andrew Lansley’s Health and Social Care Act. Its Royal Assent signalled a period of great change and new ambitions. Some things didn’t change however. There was no new money, and demand continued to grow.

    New NICE rules may block treatments for rarest conditions

    Having spent six years developing processes for evaluating treatments for rare diseases, leading the Highly Specialised Technologies (HST) programme at NICE and developing Health Technology Assessments with the Advisory Group for National Specialised Commissioning, I am all too familiar with the challenges in assessing high-cost, low-volume treatments.

    Unravelling the EU knot: what it means for the NHS

    The fallout from last Thursday's momentous result is ongoing. The predictions of a decision to leave the EU stretch from a return to recession, to a global crisis akin to a nuclear Armageddon. The rhetoric will surely moderate, but resolution could be some time away, as both principle English parties look to new leadership and realignment.

    Comms challenges: acquisition vs pipeline

    2016 will be "the year of merger mania," reported the future gazing PwC Health Research Institute even before the dust had settled in 2015, joining an increasing chorus of market analysts as they pour over the future prospects for the pharma sector. But with a global market of US $300 billion a year there is a lot to play for.

    Brexit: the impact on pharma

    The Government will hold a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU on 23 June. With the National Centre for Social Research’s latest poll of polls showing a narrow lead for the Remain campaign, a Brexit is still very much a possibility. Health in the Brexit spotlight. In recent weeks, the confrontation has spread to another politically charged area: the NHS.

    A glimpse at the NHS’s digital future

    Doctor strikes, funding crises, lengthening waiting times: so much recent NHS focus has been on what it can’t do. So it’s refreshing to spend time seeing what it can do. That was the main thrust of UK e-Health Week - an event held last week at Olympia in London. It’s easy to glibly say ‘the NHS needs to be more digital’. But what does this digital future look like?

    The picture is clearing on medicines access

    At times in recent months the number of competing claims to achieving a long term solution to evaluating new specialty medicines has resembled the race to the South Pole as NICE, NHS England and DH have all had review processes underway. What emerged yesterday with the publication of the interim findings of the Accelerated Access review is a consensus around conditionality.

    A picture of health? Health and social care in England

    As Parliament returns from the summer recess, the real politics and policy making of this new parliamentary term gets underway.  With NHS England and NICE poised to announce a major consultation on how the health system values new medicines and a brutal delisting of established medicines from the cancer drugs fund , the pattern for the next five years is set.

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