Our recent report,
Vital Signs - How to deliver better healthcare across Europe,
set out to explore how six European countries – Denmark,
France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain and the UK – are tackling
the common challenges that they face. We identified that one of the
vital signs of a strong health economy is partnership working
between healthcare providers, academia and industry. This
week's blog explores what needs to be in place to create
effective partnerships and deliver high quality healthcare. The
blog first appeared in Scripi and is the second in
a series of exclusive columns that Deloitte is providing to Scrip,
and which we agreed we would subsequently share with our own
Almost every country in Europe thinks its health system is
unique. While this may once have been the case, all countries are
facing a similar range of challenges including the fall-out from
the financial crisis; unrelenting demand pressures from a growing
and aging population; and a miss-match between the demand for, and
supply of, sufficient skilled professionals.
What differs is how each country approaches these challenges,
what they are prepared to pay for, and what they are prepared to
trade off or prioritize. Indeed, after decades of a relatively
static and siloed approach to healthcare delivery, all countries
are reviewing and reforming their healthcare systems in an attempt
to restrict the rise in healthcare costs while improving the
quality of care and ensure a health system that is fit for
One solution to the above challenges and an essential feature of
a country's innovation, health and wealth strategy is the
creation of trusted partnerships. Our supposition is that if such
partnerships can be implemented effectively, they can help to
deliver economic benefits alongside improvements to the health and
wellbeing of people across Europe. This includes speeding up the
innovation process to help medicines and technology move more
quickly from conception to adoption at scale.
We believe that all patients, given a choice, would want to be
treated with the latest drugs and medical devices, by clinicians
who are at the top of their profession, using the most innovative
services in the clinical pathway. Three types of partnerships make
basic science research, funded by partnerships between
governments and industry for the discovery of new treatments, often
measured by the number of early patents for drugs, devices and
translational research and applied medicine that support the
development of new drugs and devices in clinical trials, using
investigators and clinicians who are leading academics in their
partnering in the development of innovation, not just
procuring, aimed at delivering person-centric health services and
research to optimise clinical service delivery.
Such partnerships create a virtuous circle of excellence,
including enabling healthcare to generate wealth rather than be
perceived as simply a cost. In building a research base, such
partnerships also create key knowledge-based employment. In short,
a strong vital sign of a healthy economy is a well-integrated
medical research community with trusted partnerships between
healthcare providers, academia and industry leading to better
health outcomes and a stronger economy.
To enable effective partnerships to thrive you need to have a
number of favourable environmental conditions in place.
Amongst many other areas, this includes: a clear vision and
strategy for the industry supported by government policies that
encourage research and development (R&D), such as R&D tax
credits, defined bio-medical clusters and life science
'enterprise zones'. You also need a large, diverse
population (in terms of ethnicity, genetics and types of health
conditions) to support clinical trials and research. As well as
high-performing healthcare providers collaborating and sharing
expertise, risk and reward to enable innovative services and
products to reach patients.
To enable this to happen, governments across Europe need to work
in partnership with industry to set the long term direction needed
to attract life sciences investment and ensure that this investment
translates into better care for patients. This includes speeding up
the innovation process to help new medicines and technology move
more quickly from conception to adoption at scale.
Partnerships between industry, providers and academia, like all
of the Vital Signs, remain crucial to creating healthcare systems
that are fit for the future. However, all stakeholders need to work
together effectively to identify mutually beneficial solutions to
tackle the rising costs and demand for care. Only then can we
leverage advances in technology and innovation while managing costs
in the interests of better patient outcomes.
After studying bioengineering and completing a PhD in the San Francisco Bay Area and a two-year postdoctoral research fellowship in London, Mark has spent the past four years analysing global health policy.
World AIDS Day, held on the 1st December each year, provides an opportunity for people to unite in the fight against HIV and show their support for people living with, or having died as a result of, HIV.
Since the enactment of Directive 2001/83/EC ("Community Code Directive") the European Community has conducted a comprehensive review of its legislation on medicinal products. It is not only that the Community since then has adopted Directive 2004/27/EC amending the Community Code. In fact, several other acts of legislation have been issued.
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