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by Alison Culpan, ABPI Scotland
10 June 2022
Associate Feature: Making health data work better for patients in Scotland

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Associate Feature: Making health data work better for patients in Scotland

Data is at the heart of everything pharmaceutical companies do. From researching and developing new cutting-edge treatments and vaccines – most recently to beat the pandemic – to using up-to-the-minute supply chain information to get those breakthroughs to the hospitals and the people that need them, data is helping to save and improve the lives of millions. 

Health data has the potential to revolutionise this process by helping to speed up research and better inform who should be getting new treatments and how they should be receiving them. 
It is crucial that the Scottish Government prioritises digital health, to deliver improvements to the data landscape, at a rapid pace, or we are going to be left way behind the rest of Europe. 
The Scottish Government’s proposed data strategy will not be published until later this year, but there are actions that can and should be taken forward now. 

The Life Sciences Industry Leadership Group has been progressing a data action plan, with support from Scottish Enterprise. What we now need is the highest level of leadership and accountability to implement positive change as quickly as possible.      

For patients, better data means the opportunity to have faster access to the latest treatments. For the NHS, it means delivering cutting-edge medicine more efficiently and ensuring every patient is on the right medicine at the right time. And for the pharmaceutical industry, better data helps in everything we do, from more efficient clinical trials to better monitoring of the safety of medicines. 

Innovative use of data, properly resourced and supported, could transform the way we deliver healthcare. Scotland, due to its size, set up and our community health index number (CHI) has the potential to be a world leader if public and private sector collaborate. Let’s not miss this opportunity! We don’t have time to waste.

This article is sponsored by ABPI.

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