Speaking at the 4th Conference of Partners of the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing on 9th December 2015 Health Minister Simon Hamilton explained how the Medicines Optimisation Innovation Centre will enable us to produce solutions which can be developed commercially, and marketed and shared with other countries.

‘Medicines are the most commonly used healthcare intervention in our health and social care service – and with an ageing population, and a rising number of people with long term conditions, demand for them is high’, Health Minister Simon Hamilton said at the 4th Conference of Partners of the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing on 9th December 2015. ‘An area in which Northern Ireland has achieved particular recognition through the European Innovation Partnership is medicines optimisation and in recent years we have been working to address the physical, structural and behavioural barriers to medicines optimisation through the development of innovative solutions.

‘However, this is an area in which we have greater ambitions – and for that reason I am pleased to announce Northern Ireland has established a Medicines Optimisation Innovation Centre which will enable us to build on our existing expertise.

‘The Centre will take a focused, systematic approach to developing and testing medicines optimisation solutions and supporting their translation into service delivery.

‘We are confident that it will bring wider benefits, enabling us to produce solutions which can be developed commercially, and marketed and shared with other countries; and increasing our capacity for collaboration with established international research networks.

‘The establishment of this Centre owes much to the EIP initiative. The international profile which our work on medicines optimisation has gained through the Partnership has brought home to us the extent of the opportunity – both for us to specialise further in this area, and for other regions to benefit from adopting our evidence-based solutions.

‘We have already seen our medicines management model being deployed in hospitals in England, the Republic of Ireland, Sweden, Norway and the Netherlands; further work is currently in progress with a number of Baltic and Balkan countries; and we are participating in a 3rd Health Programme project involving eight member states. ‘In short, I believe this is a scaling-up success story and testimony to the value of initiatives like the EIP in supporting the international diffusion of best practice. Our work in the A1 Action Group and with other Reference Sites has served both to increase the capacity of those participating regions looking for innovative medicines optimisation solutions; and to open up avenues to allow us to share ours and to learn from others.’