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News and Blog
News

Date:
20-11-14

Author:
Empower

Accelerating access for NHS patients to new medical innovations

Accelerating access for NHS patients to new medical innovations

Accelerating access for NHS patients to new medical innovations

I thought you might like some background on my announcement today of a major Review of the pathways for the development, assessment, and adoption of innovative medicines and medical technology to get new drugs and medical innovations to NHS patients much faster, featured on the front page of this morning’s Times.

I want to ensure that patients up and down the country can get access to new innovations as soon as possible. By revolutionising the way in which we look at getting innovative medicines and devices into the NHS more quickly we will make sure that the UK is the best place in the world for 21st Century medical innovation: improving NHS productivity and generating the investment we need to pay for our rising healthcare costs.

As you know, it currently takes on average over a decade and £1billion to develop a new drug – from the early pre-clinical research through Phase I, II, III trials, regulatory and NICE approval before drugs are available for patients. The new model of designing and developing drugs in research hospitals around patients, made possible by ground-breaking developments in genomics and digital technology, could shave years off of the development costs of new medicines, devices and diagnostics and make the NHS more of a partner in life sciences innovation.

The review will examine how precision medicine and digital health technology could enable the UK and the NHS to become a test-bed for 21stC medical innovations, with benefits for patients, the NHS and UK plc.

Today I am also championing new data that shows £3.5bn of private sector investment and the creation of 11,000 jobs in our Life Sciences industry since the launch of the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy in 2011.

The data show that the Strategy is working to support our economic recovery and generating the health and wealth we need to be a modern economy.
This announcement is a key part of my wider mission as the Minister responsible for NHS innovation at the Department of Health to show how innovation can help deliver both more efficient and precise medicine and healthcare, AND secure the necessary investment and prosperity we need to afford our healthcare costs as an ageing society.

The announcement has received substantial media coverage including as the lead story in today's Times, with a very supportive Leader, and a big piece in the FT (links below).

Links:
| The Times (£), Wait times to be halved for latest NHS drugs
| Financial Times (£), Drug summit aims to inject urgency into innovation
| The Times (£), Drug Abuse
| ITN, Plan to cut time taken for patients to receive new drugs
| Daily Mail, Cutting-edge drugs to be fast-tracked in the NHS years earlier to save 'hundreds' of lives every year

Yours,

George

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