Case studies

Merck, Sharpe and Dohme - Insights for Care


Diabetes and lung cancer each represent a serious and growing health and financial burden on the NHS. Over 3.4 million patients suffer from Type 2 diabetes in the UK, accounting for approximately 10% of total NHS spend with costs expecting to increase significantly over the next 20 years. Meanwhile, lung cancer, the most aggressive form of cancer, accounts for 22% of all cancer deaths in the UK. In the context of this rising burden of disease, Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD) wanted to explore new strategies to provide value beyond pharmaceutical drugs for its NHS customers.

Since 2015, Deloitte has been supporting the pharmaceutical company Merck Sharp and Dohme (MSD) with the creation and implementation of a new strategy to build market insight and generate a new kind of relationship with its NHS customers. Insights for Care (IfC) is a pioneering Birmingham-based public-private sector research collaboration in diabetes and lung cancer management. It analyses patients’ health data to reveal new insights on ‘real-world’ treatments and their outcomes that are already helping the NHS to improve patient health, reduce costs and introduce new treatments more quickly.

Deloitte deployed a cross-functional team to work with MSD to design, build and run the IfC partnership. The project began with the identification of the right NHS partners and location for the initiative. It went on to include project management; design and build of a secure technological platform to house and curate sensitive patient data; patient consent and ethics frameworks to govern data use; engagement of over 100 key stakeholders across the Midlands’ health system, and; design, analysis and quality assurance of numerous studies of the data.

IfC now captures historical data for around 260k diabetes and 30k suspected or diagnosed lung-cancer patients. It is updated quarterly with new data, providing the IfC partners with an ongoing view of the local health economy. Already, research using IfC’s data has driven four academic publications, been presented at the NHS Innovation Expo, and been shortlisted for the highly prestigious Prix Galien Award – the ‘Nobels’ of the pharmaceuticals sector.

Perhaps the most striking long-term outcome of the project, is the demonstration of how to bring together the NHS and pharmaceutical industry into a long-term collaborative partnership to extract mutual value from the UK’s health data assets, while still safeguarding individual patients’ confidentiality. IfC is a pioneering example of the type of collaboration envisioned in the new UK Life Sciences Industrial Strategy, and one that positions Birmingham at the forefront of the development of the UK’s digital health economy.

MCA Awards

The ‘Insights for Care’ project has been named the winner of the Strategy category in the Management Consultancies Association’s 2018 Awards.

Read our other MCA Award nominations

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