Succinct Healthcare Communications has formed an unusual partnership with The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust (FT) that ultimately aims to speed up patient access to novel medicines, and provide a communications bridge between the industry and health service.

In what is believed to be a unique partnership between a medical education agency and an NHS FT, the two parties will share their expertise on the non-financial aspects of introducing new medicines and technologies into the health service, which can prove to be a signifiant barrier between availability and uptake. 

Essential logistical issues, such as treatment location (at hospital or in the community), clinic organisation/staffing and inpatient bed days, are factors that are growing in prominence with the increasing focus on service delivery and patient pathways. 

Failure to address these non-financial issues adequately can add significant delay to the uptake of new treatments, and are "a common cause of frustration for healthcare providers, patients and pharmaceutical companies," Succinct warns.

The new alliance between the groups, which has been sealed by joint funding for a new pharmacist at the FT, will run several programmes designed to help close the gap between a product's launch and its uptake.

These programmes include new medicines service delivery advice sheets, which will set out the potential impact of pipeline medicines some 18 months before their expected regulatory approval and will be available electronically for distribution across the country.

Industry days

In addition, industry 'preceptorships' will allow pharma personnel to visit The Royal Marsden on specified days to provide better insight into the responsibilities of staff, while it is envisaged that pharmacist training days will help pharmacists at the FT to better understand the roles of pharmaceutical industry employees.

"Through this working relationship with a world-class cancer centre, we hope to further develop our expertise in market access, and offer programmes that enhance communication and understanding between the pharmaceutical industry and healthcare providers," commented Cathy Wright, Director of Succinct Market Access & Value at the firm.

"Clients will benefit from our and [The Royal Marsden] pharmacy expertise, providing the insight needed to develop both standard and bespoke market access initiatives,” she added.