- Since its beginnings, the NHS has had a close relationship with the pharmaceutical industry. While not an official public-private partnership (PPP) there has been, in effect, an implicit PPP for pharmaceutical research and provision. This partnership has been an undoubted economic success. However, the interests of users of the health care system do not always coincide with what will be most profitable for the pharmaceutical industry. This publication argues that, because it is focussed on new medicinal drugs, the implicit PPP for pharmaceuticals neglects other research areas that may be beneficial for promoting people's health. It also omits key user groups and is therefore in danger of failing to meet the health needs of the very people it is supposed to be benefiting. It highlights where changes can be made to ensure there are sufficient incentives for research to tackle neglected areas that could be of value for improving health. It points the way forward towards a more transparent process with an emphasis on user involvement, and sets out the agenda on which future arrangements between the industry and the government should be negotiated.