Hill and Knowlton Healthcare has teamed up with health policy body the
Health Services Management Unit (HSMU) to advise drug companies how to
deal with the new market-driven NHS.
The joint venture with HSMU, run by former NHS chief executive Sir
Duncan Nichol, is the first of its kind in the UK. HSMU senior
consultant Jill Pooley will initially work three days a week at H&K
offering its clients access to key personnel in the NHS.
According to Nichol, the venture, set to launch in April, is designed to
‘bridge the gap’ between the pharmaceutical industry and NHS. He said
the NHS was traditionally ‘deeply suspicious’ of approaches from drug
companies which they see as contributing to rising healthcare spend.
According to H&K Healthcare managing director Noel Hall, pharmaceutical
companies are keen to change their image from mere suppliers of drugs to
providers of ‘healthcare solutions’ through disease management
programmes such as Glaxo Wellcome’s research into epilepsy, started two