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Government announces medical innovation funding

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Will funding improve the speed of access to new medicines and bring more innovation into the NHS?

The government has announced £86m funding to boost NHS take-up of innovative medical technologies.

The funding is part of the accelerated access review that aims to speed up patient access to innovation.

The money will go to four areas:

  • academic health science networks will get £39m to assess the benefits of new technologies and support NHS uptake of the most effective ones
  • the digital health technology catalyst for innovators will get £35m to develop digital technologies
  • up to £6m over the next three years will go to small and medium sized enterprises
  • the pathway transformation fund will receive £6m for staff training and other measures to help integrate new technology

Technologies that have already received support include MyCOPD, an online system that allows patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease to manage their breathing, flare-ups and track medicine use.

Industry impact:

  • If funding results in improved diagnosis and disease management and cost efficiencies in the NHS this could benefit the pharmaceutical industry and patients
  • While the health service should be grateful for small mercies, is the funding enough to help counter the billions of pounds of ‘black hole’ deficit that looms over the NHS?

Further information

Gov.uk: £86m funding announced for new medicine and technology

Health Foundation: MyCOPD

NHS England: AHSNs

Wellards: COPD

Wellards: Fast-facts: Accelerated access review