UK government launches strategy to put innovative technology into health
16 July 2009
A new Blueprint to put innovation at the heart of healthcare delivery
was launched by Lord Drayson and Lord Darzi at Imperial College, London, this week.
The Office for Life Sciences (OLS) Blueprint sets out to transform
the UK environment for life sciences companies and ensure faster patient
access to cutting-edge medicines and technologies. The OLS forms part of
the Government’s active industrial policy, and is part of the Department
for Business Innovation and Skills.
From left to right:
Imperial College's Professor Yang, Health Minister Lord Darzi,
Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Science Minister Lord Drayson, and
First Secretary of State Lord Mandelson at the launch of the
Office for Life Sciences Blueprint at Imperial College.
Agreed across Government, and with industry, academia and the NHS,
key actions include:
- The Government, with the National Institute for Health and
Clinical Excellence (NICE), will introduce an "Innovation Pass", a
3-year initiative that will make selected innovative medicines
available on the NHS for a time-limited period. The Pass will be
piloted in 2010/2011, with a budget of £25 million;
- The NHS Chief Executive will review system levers and
incentives, including Payment by Results, to accelerate the uptake
of medical technologies;
- The Government will reinforce the need for greater
emphasis on research and clinical trials in the next NHS Operating
- From 2010, the Society of Biology will begin to accredit
undergraduate bioscience degrees to help ensure that graduates leave
with the core mathematical and practical skills and competencies
required by employers;
- The Government will support the formation of a UK Life
Sciences Super Cluster to co-ordinate work across industry, Higher
Education and the NHS, and to boost international recognition of UK
- The Technology Strategy Board will launch an £18 million “RegenMed”
programme of investment to support commercial R&D with
additional funding from the Medical Research Council, the
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, and the
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. The TSB has
also committed to improve its expertise in the life sciences;
- The Government will invest an extra £1 million to promote
the UK and NHS brands at flagship life sciences events in the UK and
Lord Drayson, Minister for Science & Innovation, said: "The UK life
sciences have everything going for them: world-class facilities,
talented scientists and entrepreneurial flair. By championing
innovation, the NHS can support the life sciences industry in developing
ways to improve people’s health. And we are changing how industry,
academia, Government and the NHS work together to create jobs and ensure
a bright future for this country."
Lord Darzi, Health Minister for Quality and Innovation, said: "By
placing innovation at the heart of healthcare delivery we will help
create a pioneering NHS, one that responds to patients expectations, and
one where the adoption of new ideas and the diffusion of innovation is
encouraged and supported.
"Establishing a culture of innovation is also essential for the NHS
to meet any current economic challenges, and the Life Sciences Blueprint
will help us continue to support this country's knowledge industries and
ensure that we benefit from the competitive edge which they provide."
Andrew Dillon, Chief Executive of NICE, said: "Securing a successful
future for the life sciences industries is important for patients and
the UK economy. NICE is committed to engaging constructively with
companies and we are extending the access that companies have to us, as
we appraise their products.
"The Innovation Pass is an opportunity for data to be gathered on
potentially important new treatments. NICE has been involved in
discussions about the Innovation Pass, and we are looking forward to
continuing to play a key role in developing the Pass."
The Blueprint forms a key part of Building Britain’s Future, the
Government’s vision for the country’s future on the other side of the
recession. As first set out in “New Industries, New Jobs”, the
Government is pursuing a new, more active industrial policy to drive
growth and create high-value jobs of the future.
The Blueprint can be downloaded as a PDF file from the OLS website:
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