By Lee Ronan, Commercial Director, CSL
Looking at the data, the backlog is going to be massive. There are various ways to analyse this, here I am focusing on elective inpatient admissions, although similar numbers exist for outpatients. During the pandemic there have been about 4.5 million episodes that have not happened. I’ve even seen some talk of the number hitting 15million for the NHS in total.
Looking at the historic data, the number of episodes increases ~2.5% a year at present. This is probably mainly supply lead (limited). If the NHS manages to increase supply at 5% a year (so doubles it growth) then it will take about 10 years to catch up!
Given the squeeze on budgets we are likely to have over the next 10 years I just cannot see this happening. Instead, we are just going to have to get used to long waiting lists, I fear.
How can pharma help?
Quite simply I think any products that can reduce length of stay, reduce readmissions, enable remote monitoring, or just require less NHS involvement, have the greatest opportunity to capitalize. Perhaps even more products should use a homecare delivery and treatment model. Of course, on top of this products will need financial benefits to overcome the budget challenges ahead.
Interesting times ahead.