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The independent Life Sciences Industrial Strategy, written by the Government’s Life Sciences Champion Professor Sir John Bell, has been published.

Bell was commissioned by the Government to put forward proposals for a ‘sector deal’ for the life sciences sector – setting out ideas for how government can support the industry. The strategy will now be considered by the Government and used to work towards a final sector deal. The full report can be read here.

The strategy makes several recommendations which build on the Accelerated Access Review:

Collaboration between the NHS and industry

  • Utilising and broadening the AAR to encourage UK investment in clinical and real-world studies. Deliver a conditional reimbursement approval, for implementation as soon as licensing and value milestones are delivered.
  • Create a forum for early engagement between industry, NHS and arm’s-length bodies (e.g. NICE, MHRA) to agree commercial access agreements.

Adoption, access and diffusion

  • The strategy endorses the following AAR recommendations:
    • development of an enhanced horizon scanning process to enable thorough and joint planning between industry, NHS and government, and thereby more predictable NHS expenditure on technology.
    • a transformative designation for those innovations with the potential for greatest impact.
    • an Accelerated Access Pathway for strategically-important, transformative products.
    • a single set of clear, national and local routes to get medical technologies, diagnostics, pharmaceuticals and digital products to patients.
    • evolution of the process for assessing emerging technologies so that it is fit for the future.
    • a range of incentives should support the local uptake and spread of innovation, enabling collaboration, and creating greater capacity and capability for change.
    • broadening of conditional and adaptive approval pathways.
  • Government should use the recommendations from the AAR to streamline the processes and methods of assessment for all new products, simplifying and accelerating access and using a single clear decision point.
  • Value assessments should be evolved in the long-term with improved patient outcome measures, affordability and cost management data extending beyond one-year timeframes.
  • NICE’s funding model for technology evaluation should be set up in a way that does not stifle SME engagement.

Data

  • The UK could host 4-6 centres of excellence that provide support for specific medtech themes focusing on research capability in a single medtech domain such as orthopaedics, cardiac, digital health, or molecular diagnostics.