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UK to review life sciences environment

Intends to speed up access to medicines and medical technologies

UK flagThe UK Government is to review the development medicines and medical technologies in order to speed up access to new products.

The plan is part of a £3.5bn investment in the industry that is expected to create around 11,000 new jobs, according to minister for life sciences George Freeman who said that the strength of the NHS was a major factor in attracting life sciences research.

“I want to ensure that patients up and down the country can get access to important innovations as soon as possible,” said Freeman.

“By revolutionising the way in which we look at getting medicines and devices into the NHS we will make sure that this country is the best place in the world for 21st century medical innovation.”

The 'Innovative Medicines and Medtech Review' is intended to consider how to speed up access to new drugs, devices and diagnostics in the UK.

It takes into consideration changes in the healthcare environment, including the growth of personalised medicines for specific variations of diseases and how new approaches to development are needed to improve access.

The review will also examine how greater collaboration between companies and regulatory and evaluation bodies, such as the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), can ensure products reach the market more quickly.

The role of charities and patient grouse and their relationship with the NHS will also be analysed.

MSD and BD invest in UK

In addition to the review the Governmental also announced a £63bn investment from the pharma company MSD, known as Merck & Co in the US and Canada, and the medical device company BD.

MSD plans to invest a minimum of £42m in the country over the next three years through the creation of a licensing hub in London, an expansion of its headquarters in Hertfordshire and the funding of research in oncology and dementia.

BD will invest £21m in a blood separation tube production line in Plymouth that is expected to create 40 jobs. This has been supported by a regional growth fund grant of £2.48m.

Adam Schechter, president of MSD's global human health business said the company was “impressed” with the UK's approach to life science.

“Our commitment extends beyond the realms of academic and clinical research, and strives to find innovative ways to use data and technology to transform healthcare and in turn, patients' lives,” he said.

“We firmly believe the opportunities for partnership and collaboration in this area will continue to grow.”

In addition, the Government confirmed another £31m for the Biomedical Catalyst to support small-to-medium enterprises and academic-led projects with commercial potential.

Article by
Thomas Meek

21st November 2014

From: Research

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