You are right, but I am not wrong – The need for better cooperation and partnership between research and healthcare systems
The sun is out in Gastein and, although it is hiding behind the mountains, it is a beautiful day! The conference room is packed for the “Forum 6” session Innovative Medicine for the good of all – New business models in research funding and cooperation; this is clearly an attractive topic at the conference.
The moderator, David Rose, starts the session by asking the audience for their opinion on the current model and future developments. By holding up the hands the audience answered questions like: “Is the current model working?”, “Do we need to fix it?”, “Who is not sure about it and will decide after this session?”. This start brings us to the main topic of how can we make the model work for patients, researchers, and all healthcare professionals, on both a national and an international level.
The three great speakers take the spotlight – Kieran Walshe, Dimitra Panteli, John F. Ryan – and the topic evolves around how the European health systems can face the costs of pharmaceuticals, increase access, and get better value for money. During the discussion, some interesting topics come up; for instance, the need for research related to other important factors besides pharmaceuticals, as Kieran pointed out. He discusses that while a large amount of research has been done regarding Alzheimer’s disease and billions of dollars have been put into drug development and distribution, we have not done a lot of research about services and prevention for the people with Alzheimer’s disease and about how we can make their life better.
Other important topics that come up are the unmet needs in healthcare and the lack of collaboration between stakeholders. Are universities, researchers, patients, pharmaceutical companies and hospitals discussing together? As the discussion progressed and questions were raised there seemed that there was agreement with the urgent need of more communication within the fields.
After this lively discussion, we are off for a short coffee break, which was necessary since the room was a little hot.
After the coffee break, the panelist group got larger with input from Nicola Bedlington, Richard Bergström, and Marjan Sušelj. Needs-led research strategies, greater control of the innovation pathways, use of R&D to drive performance improvement, secure funding to address commercial unattractiveness, and new criteria for medications’ approval/designation/reimbursement were discussed as possible solutions or ideas that can work towards uniting the field.
There is a pressure on the market, researchers, health clinics, and universities to collaborate, but it seems like the industry does not always want to work together with the other stakeholders. In the session, it became clear that we are being nudged to make this collaboration happen. After this short session, I feel that this nudge needs to continue, and these collaborations need to happen. We do not live in a vacuum, and If we do not work together, the health research industry will not get anywhere. As the title states (translated from beautiful Italian): “You are right, but Iam not wrong”.
As the health force, we are all working for the grater good and we all need to try and to put individual differences and glory aside in order to do better work for the general public. We need cooperation and partnership that can lead to better use of clinical research and, in the end, better medicine and hopefully more research on service, prevention and patient focus.
The session was ending, but it was clear that people were not ready to leave: the topic brings even more topics and questions than answers and solutions.
I do hope that this short blog will give a slight insight into this highly informative session and will spark future discussions concerning this important matter regarding Innovative Medicine for the good of all.
This Blog was written by the Young Gasteiner Rúna Stefánsdóttir