The Chancellor’s budget statement announced new funding for the MHRA, we examine the impact for the health and life sciences sector.
The UK government has announced that the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) will receive £10 million to expedite the approval process for innovative new medical products. The funding will be used to shorten the regulatory process and fast-track approval of cutting-edge treatments developed in the UK – with the greatest potential to meet the country’s healthcare priorities, such as cancer vaccines and AI-based therapeutics for mental ill-health.
The UK has struggled in achieving a successful environment for the adoption of innovation, with many organisations launching products in the US and Europe. The news of investment in improving development and adoption of regulation will be welcomed by many across the health and life sciences sector.
The MHRA will also establish an international recognition framework that will allow the agency to take advantage of the expertise and decision-making of trusted regulatory partners. This should provide patients with fast-track access to best-in-class medical products that have been approved in other countries.
The £10 million funding over the next two years will support the MHRA’s ongoing innovation work and accelerate the development of global recognition routes that will give UK patients faster access to the most cutting-edge medical products in the world. The MHRA will still be responsible for the approval of all recognition route applications to ensure that all products are of sufficient quality to be licensed in the UK. The agency will operate a robust process promoting patient safety and access to improve the health of the UK population.
Using the agency’s pre-existing international partnerships developed through the Access Consortium and Project Orbis, the first regulatory partners that the MHRA intends to build new recognition routes with are the FDA in the USA and the PMDA in Japan.
A step in the right direction?
Dr June Raine, MHRA Chief Executive, welcomed the £10 million funding announced by HM Treasury, saying, “This cash injection will ensure that we have access to the best resources, talent, and infrastructure to deliver this ambitious vision for patients across the UK.”
Steve Barclay, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, added that the funding would accelerate the delivery of cutting-edge treatments such as cancer vaccines and new artificial intelligence technology that will make therapy more accessible to those who suffer from mental health conditions. It will also fast-track access to medical products that have been approved in other countries by trusted regulatory partners, ensuring the UK continues to provide the best, most innovative, and safest treatments.
The MHRA is a global leader in regulatory innovation. The MHRA Innovation Office was established in 2013 to provide healthcare innovators with access to world-class regulatory knowledge, expertise, and experience from within the MHRA. The agency is continually building new international partnerships to ensure that innovative treatments reach patients as quickly as possible. Scientific progress has been made at the agency through highly successful internationally collaborative schemes such as the Access Consortium and Project Orbis, from which there have been eight approvals for new cancer medicines.
The announcement has been welcomed by industry experts, who say that the funding will help to speed up the approval process for life-saving treatments and technologies, benefiting patients across the UK.
The £10 million funding announced by HM Treasury to the MHRA should help to bring innovative new medicines and medical technologies to UK patients more quickly. The funding shows a commitment to the development of a shortened process to accelerate routes for bringing innovative medical products developed in the UK and approved by other trusted regulatory partners globally.
The establishment of an international recognition framework should also allow patients fast-track access to best-in-class medical products that have been approved in other countries. This investment will ensure that the UK remains at the forefront of medical innovation and will benefit patients across the country.
With record backlogs and heavy pressures on the NHS exacerbated by strikes, it has never been more important to improve the health innovation landscape in the UK.
NHS Innovation & Life Sciences Commission
Curia’s NHS Innovation and Life Sciences Commission has produced a series of recommendations in the 2022 report on the development and scalability of innovation. With Co-Chair Lord O’Shaughnessy leading the UK clinical trials review, get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more. For further reference, please see the 2022 launch event below: