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Partnership with Pharmaceutical Industry

NIMHE and the Pharmaceutical Industry are working together to support service providers, commissioners and researchers to improve the quality of mental health care and outcomes for people with mental health problems by promoting the effective implementation of mental health policy.

In December 2001 NIMHE established partnership working with the pharmaceutical industry in line with DoH policy which encourages partnerships in the implementation of National Service Frameworks. Bimonthly meetings are held under the auspices of the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) open to all companies who manufacture psychotropic medication. Current active partners include AstraZeneca, Janssen-Cilag Ltd, Lilly, Lundbeck, Sanofi-Synthelabo and Wyeth.

NIMHE recognises that this Partnership may be a potential area of concern for some in the mental health community and has outlined the rationale for this.

Key principles

  • None of the work is product linked or promotional, rather it models partnership working on areas where collaboration can serve to improve the delivery of core tasks for NIMHE
  • There is no influence either individually or collectively by companies on NIMHE policies and initiatives
  • The process is transparent in that all companies are informed collectively about opportunities open for their support of NIMHEs work which can be conducted either with individual companies or companies working in collaboration

Key work areas

  • Policy implementation
    The NIMHE and Industry partnership are working to bridge the gap between national guidance and local implementation in the area of NICE guidance.
  • Medicines management, concordance and choice
    Medicines management and concordance form part of the National Service Framework and the issue of ‘choice’ in accessing health care is the subject of a consultation from the Department of Health, which includes mental health as a priority area.
  • Bridging the gap between physical and mental health
    The need to manage physical health and mental health in parallel is included in the new GMS contract for GP Practices. The Partnership has supported work on guidance on the implementation of the mental health elements of the GMS contract being led by NIMHE's Primary Care Programme, including the development of advice for both users and practitioners.
  • Promoting a multidisciplinary approach to holistic care
    The level of understanding of psychotropic medication and particularly how it interacts with other elements of care by different disciplines is sometimes rather limited. In order to develop increased awareness of the interface between psychotropic, psychological and social interventions in supporting holistic approaches to care, the Partnership are exploring ways of encouraging more genuinely multidisciplinary approaches to mental health care.
  • Combating discrimination and social exclusion
    Industry partners are participating in the development of NIMHE’s programme on discrimination through which it will be in a position to agree longer-term strategies to combat stigma, including the stigma associated with seeking help for mental health problems and taking psychotropic medication.
  • Mental Health Research
    There is an opportunity for the Partnership to support a joint approach to research in mental health, sharing expertise and resources to build the evidence base through the Mental Health Research Network and the associated Hubs. This is strongly encouraged by the DoH in recent policy statements.

For some examples of the above from local practice see Meeting of Minds.

* * See Also * *
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  • Meeting of Minds
  • 11 Local Delivery Stories
  • NIMHE Lead Directors: Ian McPherson, Carolyn Steele

    Why should NIMHE have a partnership group with the Pharmaceutical Industry?

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