As part of NHS England’s Five-Year Forward View and recent NHS reforms, Cancer Vanguard sites have been established all over England with the aim of redesigning services to improve patient care. One of the biggest challenges for the Cancer Vanguard is better cancer prevention and treatment.

In summer 2016, the Pharma Challenge was launched by the Cancer Vanguard. This was an invitation for life sciences and pharmaceutical companies to partner with the NHS in the redesign of innovative services to improve the care and treatment of cancer patients. The goal of the Pharma Challenge was to help the NHS improve the effective use of its resources, enhance understanding of the patient experience, and improve efficiency in the use of medicines and to make this part of routine clinical practice. The ultimate aim of the Pharma Challenge is to improve cancer patient outcomes through NHS partnership with industry.

Pharma and life science companies such as Amgen, Merck, IQVIA and uMotif have taken up the challenge and are collaborating with NHS England on a range of projects to improve care for cancer patients. Here are four of the projects that are underway:

  • The University College London Hospital (UCLH) Cancer Collaborative partnered with Amgen to map out the most efficient out-of-hospital administration of denosumab, a therapy for secondary breast cancer in the bone. The project has developed an ‘options appraisal’ document and user guide toolkit, aimed at helping NHS trusts and clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) to adopt the model
  • Sandoz proposed an education and engagement programme with healthcare professionals across the Cancer Vanguard about the use of biosimilar medicines. These can help the NHS make significant savings, but uptake can be hindered by doubts about the medicines among nurses, doctors and patients
  • Celgene worked with the Vanguard to develop an ‘Interactive Medicines Optimisation and Compliance Dashboard and Evaluation Framework’ using the Systemic Anti-Cancer Therapy dataset
  • IQVIA, a human data science company, worked in partnership with Merck, uMotif and The Christie Hospital, a specialist cancer centre in Manchester, to analyse medicine usage data and quantify costs associated with unwarranted variation.


Read more on the Pharmaphorum website here