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ABPI’s Patient Advisory Council boosted by new leaders

Five vital new appointments were made to the regulator’s insight, perspective and advice group.

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has revealed that several patient organisation leaders have been newly appointed to its Patient Advisory Council. The group typically delivers advice and insight on critical patient perspectives to the wider ABPI board and leadership team.

The council – which was officially launched in 2021 – is made up of a combination of charities which act for a diverse range of patient communities and disease areas. Among its most prevalent aims is to ensure that the needs of patients are broadly considered during all ABPI-related decisions.

New members include Sarah Woolnough from Asthma + Lung UK, Clare Jacklin from the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society, John James from Sickle Cell Society, Hilary Evans from Alzheimer’s Research UK and Gene People’s Samantha Barber.

They will join current members Tom Nutt from Meningitis Now, Nicole Perrin from the Association Medical Research Charities and National Voices’ Sarah Sweeny.

The new members are adamant that the range of views and perspectives offered can make a significant difference in patient outcomes.

Evans reflected on her new role: “We are at a critical point in dementia research, with scientists on the cusp of making some of the biggest breakthroughs in medical history. But there are numerous hurdles ahead that need to be cleared before these drugs, once approved, can reach the people who so desperately need them.”

James added: “The Sickle Cell Society aims to improve the quality of life of those affected by sickle cell disease by working with health professionals, parents, and people living with Sickle Cell. I am so pleased to be joining the ABPI’s Patient Advisory Council and look forward to ensuring that the patient voice of those living with sickle cell influences the strategic agenda of the ABPI.”

Jacklin said: “I am delighted and honoured to be asked to join the ABPI Patient Advisory Council, it is a great opportunity for me to represent the more than 430,000 people with rheumatoid and 12,000 children with juvenile arthritis and it will hopefully ensure that the concerns of those living with all inflammatory arthritis conditions are elevated.”

Woolnough explained: “We urgently need more research and innovation to find better ways to prevent, diagnose, treat and manage lung conditions. We know research into new treatments has the power to transform lives, and I look forward to working with the council to develop patient-centred research and ensure people with lung conditions can access the latest treatments.”

Barber concluded: “Gene People provides information and support to people living with genetic conditions, their families and carers, and a wider support universe including our network of over 140 condition-specific support groups. Patient organisations and the medicines industry are two vital parts of the ecosystem that bring innovative medicines to people living with genetic conditions and I am honoured to be able to contribute to our collective endeavours in this way.”