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LSE Health awarded major grant by the Merck Company Foundation

LSE Health has been awarded a grant of $600,000 over three years by the Merck Company Foundation. The award represents a significant boost to UK research into pharmaceutical industry competitiveness and policy issues.

The award of the grant will be celebrated at an LSE lecture given by leading industry experts on Friday 10 March. This will include a keynote speech from Professor Michael Drummond, University of York, with a response by Peter Littlejohns, NICE, and chaired by Professor Alistair McGuire, professor of health economics at LSE. See Health Technology Assessment: has the UK got it right?|, for more details on the event.  

The grant made by the Merck Company Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck & Co., Inc., is part of the Foundation's Programme on Pharmaceutical Policy Issues (PPPI), which has a remit to increase public awareness and understanding of pharmaceutical policy issues.

Professor McGuire, of LSE Health, said: "We are very pleased to be awarded this further grant which enhances our status as a leading research centre in health economics. It is an appropriate time to be looking at the regulation of the pharmaceutical industry and how regulation affects research productivity.

'The Merck Company Foundation's grant will enable us to strengthen our research into some of the key issues facing a highly regulated industry operating in an increasingly challenging environment.

'It's great news that a UK academic centre of excellence has been chosen as a recipient of the award. We are delighted that as a result of this support, the LSE will be able to contribute even more fully to the debate on pharmaceutical industry issues.

'The grant will allow LSE Health to build on its existing work in this area and to pursue the goals we have discussed with the Merck Company Foundation. I am sure the grant will cement a relationship which will be long and fruitful.'

Vincent Lawton, managing director of Merck Sharp & Dohme Limited, Merck & Co., Inc.'s UK subsidiary, said: 'We are delighted that LSE has once again been successful in being awarded this grant, in the face of stiff competition from a number of academic centres around the world. We hope the work that LSE conducts under this programme will expand the evidence base underpinning pharmaceutical policy making.

'This grant is not, however, just about research, it is also about building capacity. That means providing resource to enable more students to study the subject at undergraduate and post graduate level. During the first Merck Foundation three-year grant LSE was able to initiate some fascinating new projects and invite world experts to the UK. This new award means that this knowledge-building can be consolidated and I am looking forward to some exciting results this year.'

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For more about LSE Health and Social Care see http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/LSEHealthAndSocialCare/| 

6 March 2006

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