Pharmaceuticals Must Act Now Or Lose Out In NHS Restructure

Industry Advisor Warns Pharma To Stop Selling And Start Collaborating To Ease NHS Crisis

As the NHS powers full thrust towards establishing a network of integrated care systems, pharma, med tech and device firms have been warned to act now or risk losing access to key decision-makers.

Industry advisor Scott McKenzie, who supports the NHS to run more efficient and effective practices, has urged pharmaceuticals, med tech and device firms to wake up to the changes and find a path into the emerging Integrated Care Systems before their existing market access route is diminished. Integrated care systems (ICSs) are new partnerships between organisations that meet health and care needs across an area, to coordinate services and to plan in a way that improves population health. The development of ICS is part of the NHS Long Term Plan for all parts of England to be served by an Integrated Care System from April 2022.

McKenzie believes the Pharma industry holds the key to alleviating the crippling burden of work on the NHS by speeding up the patient’s route to more effective treatment with innovative products and services. But, he warns, the industry is not moving as quickly as the NHS is changing, meaning traditional approaches to introducing new projects and products to the NHS are no longer viable.

McKenzie fears rather than making a real difference to GPs’ workload, pharmaceuticals risk getting left behind if they fail to open dialogue now with integrated care systems as they emerge. This also includes a need to understand the importance of “Place”, where significant budget and decision making will be delegated. McKenzie advises, if the industry doesn’t understand Place it is doomed to fail.  And they must ditch their sales-driven approach and instead work collaborately with key decision-makers within the NHS to establish what the critical problems are and offer targeted solutions to improve the complete patient pathway.

McKenzie says, “Pharmaceuticals have a rare opportunity to alleviate current crippling work pressures for GPs, Primary Care Networks and where they exist and are fully operational, GP federations within new Integrated Care Systems. The Pharma industry should be shouting about the huge value their products and services can add to streamline the patient’s journey and support the objective of delivering rapid access to diagnosis and treatment. The challenge to pharma is to collaborate with and not simply to expect to sell its products to traditional structures, but to work with the health and care system to understand what good delivery mechanisms look like.

“There are already excellent examples of where pharma has helped to secure programmes in hepatitis C, COPD, Asthma, Diasbetes, Wound Care,. Allergy, Dry Eye Disease, Heart Failure, Chronic Kidney Disease, Cardiology Diagntsicts and more. I cannot stress enough the current opportunity for pharma to collaborate. This revolution in treatment pathways is too important for Pharmaceuticals not to become a valued part of. Not acting now means the huge advantages and opportunities that are open to Pharmaceuticals will be missed and they will run the risk of missing out on all the benefits – and their contacts as the system takes on a new structure.”

McKenzie is running a free webinar next month for Pharma, med tech and device firms to gain a deeper understanding of the changes, how it will affect industry and how to circumnavigate the challenges to sell effectively to the NHS. You can register your place for free here:

McKenzie supports the NHS as a management consultant and works with Pharma, med tech and device firms to improve the way they sell to the NHS. To book a private consultation visit his website here

About Scott McKenzie

After 10 years selling to the NHS for major pharmaceutical companies, and 15 years embedded within the NHS as a management consultant, Scott McKenzie has unrivalled insight of the challenges faced by all sides involved in the NHS industry.

Scott has helped many GPs, PCNs and GP federations generate £millions in new contracted business and develop sustainable general practice and he has supported pharma, med tech and device firms to land their value-added projects and pathways NHS projects.