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ABPI launches new NHS partnership guide

pharmafile | May 15, 2012 | News story | Medical Communications, Sales and Marketing ABPI, COPD, NHS, code 

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry has launched a new guide to explain how pharma and the NHS can best pool their skills to help patients. 

Supported by the Department of Health and NHS Confederation, Joint Working – A Quick Start Reference Guide for NHS and Pharmaceutical Industry Partners provides practical tips on the dos and don’ts in such projects. 

“Initiating a joint working project can be challenging, despite the clear benefits to patients of combining pharmaceutical industry and NHS expertise,” said ABPI chief executive Stephen Whitehead. 

“I believe this guide can help you overcome those challenges whether you are an NHS or industry professional,” he added. 

As current trends such as personalised medicine and local provision of services gain ground, it is likely that joint working projects – which already exist in areas such as reducing COPD admissions or improving diabetes outcomes – will increase in frequency. 

NHS Confederation chief executive Mike Farrar says the guide will “help create innovative new services to benefit patients”. 

Top tips include setting up signing meetings to deal easily with paperwork, agreement of timelines and the early involvement of each partner’s internal review committee. 

The guide also urges readers to use its template, which is based on seven steps that takes the reader from thinking about an agreement to actually implementing one. 

Within these are a series of questions: is there evidence of shared commitment; do all parties have clear procedures in place; are all proposals within national guidelines; and so on. 

Negative answers to any of these could signal that there are potential roadblocks ahead, the guide points out. 

The ABPI put it together using feedback from members but advises those who use it to refer as well to the Department of Health’s Moving beyond sponsorship toolkit. 

They should also keep the ABPI’s own Code of Practice in mind, particularly clauses 18.5, which covers joint working, it advises.

The main steps in the guide, which the ABPI says will standardise approaches to joint working and reduce delays, are: 

  • Idea generation
  • Criteria checklist
  • Principle agreement and internal process initiation
  • Project initiation documentation (PID)
  • Seek approval and recommendation
  • Progress and complete PID
  • Joint working agreement 

Adam Hill

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