Ben Osborn, UK Managing Director of Pfizer, talks about his role and what's on the horizon for Pfizer and the life sciences sector.
An introduction on who you are/your role and organisation
Throughout my 20 years at Pfizer, and as a parent to a son with a chronic health condition (a rare form of epilepsy), I’ve experienced how remarkable the NHS can be in more ways than most – firstly, as a father of a child with ongoing and complex medical needs, and secondly as a leader at Pfizer. This gives me a unique perspective on the NHS and wider healthcare and pharmaceutical industry. I have hands-on understanding and experience of the success of the NHS and where there are challenges.
In my role as Country Manager and Managing Director, I lead Pfizer in the UK to deliver against our purpose: breakthroughs that change patients’ lives. We are at an exciting point in time as an organisation and as a sector, and I am passionate about what we can all do to transform patients’ lives and support a thriving life sciences sector. Pfizer’s innovation spans the rarest to the most common of diseases, and our footprint across the UK is significant with 2,500 colleagues.
What does the landscape look like for 2020 and beyond in the life sciences/health tech sector?
As we head into a new decade, we face the greatest opportunity yet to better protect and invest in our nation’s health. We are living through an age of unprecedented innovation as we stand at the cusp of a new era of breakthroughs which have the potential to change patients’ lives.
Advances in science, data and technology, in particular digital, are driving change in the health system faster than ever before, and with the new Government refocusing its efforts on our health service, we are at a pivotal moment where the latest scientific research, renewed investment and collective ambition, can come together to create the impetus for change that we need to drive better outcomes and experience for patients.
Why is collaboration so important?
Simply put, the healthcare challenges of today are simply too complex for any one organisation to solve alone, given the diversity of expertise, resources, and skills required.
The approach to innovation has changed over recent years and requires everyone to take a much more collaborative approach and form greater, deeper and stronger collaborations.
We must work together as a sector (NHS, academia, industry, and patients) and use this unparalleled opportunity to reshape UK life sciences for the better, and to support the NHS to deliver world-leading healthcare that makes a real difference to patients. No single organisation has the answer. It is only through collective action and partnership that we can deliver our shared ambition.
What’s on the horizon for Pfizer?
As a global biopharmaceutical company we are going through an exciting period of change. We have shifted to become laser-focused on a single purpose: breakthroughs that change patients’ lives; and at the core of our culture, of everything we do, is how we can deliver against this to make a positive contribution to patients and the society in which we live and work.
Our pipeline has the potential to transform patient outcomes and NHS service delivery across key areas, including cardiomyopathy, vaccination, osteoarthritis pain and oncology, and we also have one of the industry’s deepest gene therapy pipelines. It is through our partnerships with the NHS, academia and others, in Wales and across the UK, that we will bring these therapies to patients.
We recognise the challenges faced across healthcare systems, and we want to partner to shift the historic volume-based model to one centred on outcomes and value.