Earlier this month, we celebrated the 70th anniversary of the NHS. However, having read and watched many of the articles, blogs and TV programmes recognising the work of the NHS throughout June and July, I felt the myriad contributions of the pharmaceutical industry were largely missed.
The work carried out by the pharmaceutical industry in the last 70 years, has undoubtedly extended and improved the lives of numerous individuals with acute and chronic conditions by giving the NHS the drugs and equipment with which to save lives.
For example, NHS medicines have helped cancer survival rates double in the last 40 years (Cancer Research UK, Cancer survival, 2017) and has seen heart disease deaths decrease by 75% since the 1960s (British Heart Foundation, BHF CVD Statistics Factsheet – UK, 2017).
As well as developing medicines, the industry makes a significant contribution to the economy. In the UK, the life science sector is world-leading, contributing £30.4bn to the UK’s GDP and employs up to 140,000 people directly (PwC UK, The Economic contribution of the UK Life Sciences industry, 2017).
Below are just a few examples of pharma’s contribution to healthcare, helping us to live better and longer lives:
For the past 70 years, the pharmaceutical industry has worked closely with doctors, pharmacists and nurses in the NHS to bring new medicines to patients. Today, there are currently 7,000 potential new medicines in the pipeline that may someday benefit the NHS (Adis,R&D Insight, 2016), an exciting prospect for the future of healthcare.