ABPI Chief Executive, Stephen Whitehead, comments on the announcement by the Government of a new initiative to accelerate access for NHS patients to new medical innovations and a review of the pathway for development assessment and adoption of 21st Century medicines, devices and diagnostics.
Stephen Whitehead said:
"The ABPI warmly welcomes this announcement, we have long called for such an initiative in response to increasing evidence of the need for a holistic approach to UK life sciences. This needs to bring together the life science industrial strategy with the health system, linking licensing, value assessment, NHS commissioning in order to deliver increased patient access to new, innovative medicines. We particularly welcome the Minister's commitment to get medical innovations to patients quicker, this has previously been recognised by the ABPI as being the main challenge to delivering the Government's Strategy for Life Sciences.
"The Government and industry investments in research and development of medicines, including the successful BioMedical Catalyst, highlighted today show the importance of this sector to the UK economy. There remains huge potential to nourish this growing sector and create more UK jobs, build on our investment track record and transform the picture for patient access to medicines in the UK.
"The review will be a big step in the right direction and reflects the Government's commitment to advancing the life sciences strategy to create an environment for the sector to truly flourish. However this needs to be fully joined up with other initiatives such as those that impact NICE and NHS England. Combined with the current PPRS agreement under which the pharmaceutical industry has agreed to underwrite the medicines bill subject to agreed exclusions1, this review could be critical to addressing the longstanding issue of poor patient access to innovative medicines. It is essential that the review considers NICE's role in an end to end approach to life sciences. The ABPI is calling for NICE to change the way it evaluates new medicines and align with the changing regulatory model. It is vital that industry is able to fully participate in the review from the outset and we are more than prepared to do so."
Notes to editor
- The ABPI has today published a report showing how the NHS and patients are missing out on the benefits of non-cancer stratified medicines Stratified medicine in the NHS: An assessment of the current landscape and implementation challenges for non-cancer applications
- 1The agreed exclusions are exceptional central procurements (such as national stockpiles for the security of the nation or pandemic preparation), procurements of centrally supplied vaccines, parallel imports and companies with sales of less than £5 million in the previous year.
- Next week we will be publishing further research on UK levels of patient access to new medicines.
- In January the ABPI along with the other Life Sciences UK bodies published From vision to action: delivery of the strategy for UK Life Sciences.
About the ABPI
The ABPI represents innovative research-based biopharmaceutical companies, large, medium and small, leading an exciting new era of biosciences in the UK.
Our industry, a major contributor to the economy of the UK, brings life-saving and life-enhancing medicines to patients. Our members supply 90 per cent of all medicines used by the NHS, and are researching and developing over two-thirds of the current medicines pipeline, ensuring that the UK remains at the forefront of helping patients prevent and overcome diseases.
The ABPI is recognised by government as the industry body negotiating on behalf of the branded pharmaceutical industry, for statutory consultation requirements including the pricing scheme for medicines in the UK.
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