Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 26 July 2014

DebateNI home of Northern Ireland politics

Northern Ireland can benefit from partnership with the pharmaceutical industry - Poots 

Stormont press releases

Health Minister Edwin Poots has called for continued partnership working with the pharmaceutical industry to deliver improved health outcomes and support local research, innovation and economic growth.

Addressing the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) Northern Ireland at an event to mark their 5th anniversary, the Minister said: “It is impossible to understate the important contribution that medicines make to almost every aspect of health care in Northern Ireland offering tremendous potential for cure, alleviation of symptoms and protection from disease.

“I want to encourage the pharmaceutical industry to develop new approaches that aim to optimise the outcomes from medicines for our population within the budget available.”

The Minister went on to speak about the opportunities for partnership working. He said: “In line with Transforming Your Care, I would encourage ABPI to work with the technology industry, practitioners and the Health and Social Care Service to explore ICT based solutions which can optimise patients’ use of medicines.

“I would also like to see the pharmaceutical industry continue to work with academia and the Health and Social Care Service to increase the number of research collaborations in Northern Ireland.” 

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) is a trade association for some 150 member companies, who research, develop, manufacture and supply more than 80% of the medicines prescribed through the Health Service. ABPI is the main body and lobby group for the pharmaceutical industry in the UK and has a local presence through ABPI Northern Ireland. 

Highlighting the need to develop joint approaches to manage the exit of medicines that no longer offer cost effective treatment compared to newer therapies, the Minister concluded: “While we endeavour to obtain a managed entry of new medicines, we also need to ensure that our resources are not being committed to inappropriate therapy. And while this is important for prescribers, it is also an important message for the industry in terms of responsible commercial activity.”

Notes to editors:

1. ABPI NI was set up in 2007 to provide a regional presence for the Association in response to devolution and the changing political context. The aim of the Association is to improve the health and well-being of the people of Northern Ireland, and to encourage investment and employment opportunities.

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