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Limerick-based Haematology team participate in new campaign highlighting the patient benefits of medical innovation

AbbVie has participated in a new national campaign highlighting how scientific innovation is improving standards of care and offering Irish haematology patients increased treatment opportunities.

Retired engineer Geoffrey McDonald (81) outlines his fourteen-year journey with leukaemia in the ‘Six Degrees of Innovation’ video initiative.

The short film explains the purpose of new medicines creation. It also highlights the close connections that exist between a wide variety of workers in Ireland who are creating new treatments and helping bring them to those in medical need.

Geoffrey has successfully battled illness with the help of his medical team, who also appear in the video. They include Professor of Haematology Ruth Clifford, Nurse Practitioner Fidelma Hackett, and Senior Medical Scientist Ailín McMahon.

The video explains how the development of new treatments helped Geoffrey resume his active lifestyle. For the Limerick-based sailing enthusiast, the availability of innovative medicines meant he achieved remission and a break from the disease.

The video, which has been supported by the biopharmaceutical company AbbVie, is one of a series created by the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA). The film also features two AbbVie employees from the company’s plants in Sligo and Cork who support the creation and availability of medicines used to treat blood cancer around the world.

The video was distributed on social media channels to mark September’s Blood Cancer Awareness month.  Across the overall campaign, a total cast of 26 participate including doctors, patients, scientists, and ordinary people whose lives have been touched by innovation.

With record exports, jobs and tax revenues, the biopharmaceutical industry is a major engine of Irish economic growth. The industry has shown leadership during Covid-19, with vaccines and treatments helping to turn the tide on the disease.[i] 

IPHA’s Director of Communications and Advocacy, Bernard Mallee, said: “In human health, the industry continues to innovate for solutions for unmet medical needs and for the diseases we all know about. Medicines innovation is a lot closer to Irish public than many people may suspect.”

“In that context, it is important that we continue to protect intellectual property as the formula for the invention of new medicines. Innovate For Life, in capturing so cinematically the impact of innovation, is a way for us of us to engage with science for the public good

[i] Irish exports surge to €306bn as pandemic spurs trade in IT and pharma: last accessed 12.9.2022

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