Working Together For Tomorrow, Today

Today's guest blog comes from Lilly's Rick Ascroft, Senior Director, Corporate Affairs and PRA Australia, Canada, Europe.

According to the most recent numbers, there are nearly 387 million people living with diabetes today, a number projected to grow to 592 million by 2035. While medical discoveries have made it more manageable, people living with the disease cannot go a single day without thinking about how it affects them. In our continuing efforts to make life better, we must seek new, creative, solutions for people across the world. Ultimately, tackling non-communicable diseases, like diabetes, requires global collaboration and partnerships.

Lilly has a long history of creating partnership models designed to bring innovation to the patients who are waiting. The value of this approach was realized more than 90 years ago when we collaborated with Dr. Frederick Banting and Charles Best, two academics at the University of Toronto, to make the first commercially-available insulin for patients with diabetes.

Recently, our own Dr. Melissa Thomas, reflected on our work with the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), a unique collaborative for European stakeholders:


Launched in 2008, the IMI unites public institutions and private organisations in a partnership to facilitate collaboration among the key players involved in health-care research. This includes universities, the pharmaceutical and other industries, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), patient organisations, and medicines regulators. IMI currently has over 50 projects, with more to come. In July of last year, IMI initiated its second phase, which will continue their work to develop next generation medicines.

While the results of many of these projects have yet to be realized, the opportunities are immense. By working together, public institutions and private organisations can help raise the bar of care for people living with diseases like diabetes. Recognizing the power of partnership, we support the IMI in their continued efforts to find solutions that make discovery and delivery of new medicines more streamlined and efficient.