Deloitte raises more than £10,000 for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance

26 August 2016

The Leeds office of Deloitte UK, as part of its local corporate responsibility work, has raised more than £10,000 for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance over the past year. The funds will help support the lifeline, which flew more than 1,300 medical emergency missions between 2014 and 2015.

The Yorkshire Air Ambulance was launched in 2000, the service currently provides two helicopter air ambulances that range across Yorkshire and the Humber’s more than 5 million people. The charity organisation providing the service is not state funded, although its paramedic staff are seconded from the NHS, through Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust. The service, which flew 1,326 missions between 2014-15, requires £12,000 per day (£4.4 million per year) to stay in the air, with funds coming from donations by community members and businesses.

Deloitte raises more than 10,000 for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance

480 Deloitte employees at the firm’s Leeds office, as part of its regional corporate responsibility work, last year voted to support the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. The firm recently announced it has donated more than £10,000 to the charity, on the back of fundraising efforts. Staff at the firm engaged a number of avenues to raise the funds for the charity – from traditional dress down days and bake sales to a sponsored 14 mile canoe challenge.

Helen Kaye, Partner and Corporate Responsibility lead at Deloitte in Yorkshire, says that she is “delighted” about the firm’s support of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance over the past year. She adds, “From the 480 people based in our Leeds office we have seen some fantastic fundraising efforts to help Yorkshire Air Ambulance in their mission to save lives across the county. Through our corporate responsibility programme at Deloitte our aim is to play a proactive role in helping our local charity deal with key organisational challenges, not just raising funds and also providing time and expertise through volunteering and pro-bono support.”

Kerry Garner, Regional Fundraising Manager, says, "It has been a pleasure working with the Leeds Deloitte team over the last year and we would like to sincerely thank their staff for their amazing fundraising efforts! £10,000 is a huge amount of money for the Charity and will certainly help to keep saving lives across Yorkshire. We are an independent Charity and rely on support from people such as the staff at Deloitte to help us raise the vital funds we need each and every day to keep both of our helicopters in the air and helping to save lives.”


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Medicine economic model creates negative health outcomes

26 March 2019

Profit-driven production of antibiotics has held back the development of vital medical breakthroughs, according to a new report. Analysis from a leading strategy consultancy suggests that a change in economic model and new incentives could prompt pharmaceutical giants to develop cures to major diseases, which could be affordable at scale.

The much maligned pharmaceutical industry has long been criticised for its failure to focus on deep seated issues in public health. For instance, there is increasing concern around microbial resistance, with some bacteria now resistant to all known antibiotics. Combating that requires new antibiotics – but drug companies see little profit in the field, and therefore have not seriously invested in it. Another instance of concern is a focus on treating symptoms rather than curing the diseases themselves, with such treatments requiring long-term payment to mitigate symptoms, rather than one-time cures being delivered.

Cases like the so-called “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli – who received widespread criticism when his company obtained the manufacturing license for the antiparasitic drug Daraprim and raised its price by a factor of 56 (from US$13.5 to $750 per pill – underline the failing of this system to meet the needs of society. New analysis from Boston Consulting Group (BCG) seeks to challenge the current economic model and its inherent failures in favour of a model that creates greater social good while also generating steady reliable returns for pharma companies. The analysis appears in the firm’s ‘Aligning Economic Incentives to Eradicate Diseases’ report.

Different pricing model makes cures more accessible

One example is Hepatitis C. The disease is massively damaging to human life, with considerable negative impacts on patients and society. Treatments have existed for decades, which manage the virus but did not cure it. These treatments had significant side effects however, which saw people not complete rounds – which then resulted in expensive emergency care and secondary health costs.

In 2013 a treatment was developed that effectively cured the virus in 8-12 weeks. The treatment has few side effects and works in most patients. However, five years later fewer than 10% of people globally with the virus have had the cure – largely because of prohibitive costs. The ambition to remove this disease and its large negative drag on the lives of millions by 2030 is becoming increasingly unlikely. The issue is cost.

The current economic model used by pharmaceutical companies mean that early adopters pay sky high prices as the company seeks to recoup costs, with the price eventually coming down to levels at which a larger segment can afford to access the drug – before its generic releases sees mass uptake. This model creates considerable initial barriers, and long-term social costs.

The report subsequently proposes a different pricing model that would see the price of a new drug kept at a constant level for its lifetime but have that level set considerably lower than the current model - which is focused on recouping costs immediately. Under the firm’s model, within 12 years of the Hepatitis C drug’s discovery, up to 96% of the population could be cured, at a cost 30% lower than the UN model and with a cure rate almost 50 percentage points higher than the base model.

The PLA scenario has better social outcomes than the traditional model

A change in model would, according to the firm’s analysis for HCP, triple the number of patients cured within 2 years, reduce the number of liver disease deaths by 60%, reduce total costs to payers by 30% (due to fewer additional costs on healthcare systems), while creating higher and more predictable revenue streams for pharma companies.

“There are many barriers to curing this population, but the dilemma created by current pricing models is one of the biggest,” said Dave Matthews, a BCG Principal and study co-author. The firm adds, “The dilemma results because a high price per patient makes treating everyone prohibitively expensive while an affordable price is too low for pharmaceutical companies to earn back their investments.”

Matthews concluded, “Switching to a population-based model such as the PLA not only makes the cure affordable, but also creates strong motivation to identify, diagnose, and treat as many patients as possible before the license expires.”

Related: Ten year deal activity in pharmaceuticals industry stands at $2.4 trillion.