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NHS and NICE outline proposals for new pathway to fast-track MedTech

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NHS patients in England are set to benefit from faster access to innovative and cutting-edge medical technologies under new plans.

Proposals set out in a joint NHS England and NICE consultation outline a new route for MedTech developers to access NHS funding to fast-track clinically and cost-effective products for use by the healthcare system.

The plans will ensure the growing number of products recommended by NICE can be introduced to the NHS on a large-scale to improve patient outcomes.

The proposals in the consultation document have been developed by NHS England and NICE with input from the Department of Health and Social Care and other partners, including the Office for Life Science (OLS) and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Along with improving outcomes for patients, the proposals in the consultation will provide greater certainty for MedTech innovators and suppliers– with a commitment to automatic funding to support routine commissioning for those technologies that meet a required criteria.

Mark Chapman, director of the Health Technologies Programme at NICE, said: “The speed of change and the sheer number of new products being brought to market within the MedTech world has determined the need for a clear pathway to ensure that the most promising new and or transformative technologies recommended by NICE can be adopted at scale by the NHS within a timely manner.

“As a trusted organisation that has built an international reputation for developing evidence-based recommendations over the last 25 years, we believe that when a product is backed by positive NICE guidance it shows the rest of the world the value and benefits it can bring healthcare users.

“This new pathway aims to ensure that patients in every area of the country can benefit from the best products, devices, digital technologies, or a diagnostic innovation. It will bring clarity to MedTech developers, giving them a clear route to accessing NHS funding, in the same way the pharmaceutical industry currently benefits from.”

The proposals will strengthen the NHS Long Term Plan’s commitment to accelerate the uptake of selected innovative medical devices, diagnostics, and digital products.

Recent MedTech equipment introduced to the NHS includes a laser fibre that vaporises enlarged prostatic tissue and a device called Spectra Optia, which separates and removes sickle red blood cells from the patient’s blood using continuous flow and centrifugation.

Feedback on the proposals is being sought from patients, clinicians, academics, and industry and can be submitted via the consultation webpage.

The consultation will run for 12 weeks, closing at midnight on Thursday 15 August.

Dr Vin Diwakar, Interim Medical Director for Transformation at NHS England added: “Medical technology plays a vital role in the nation’s health and these proposals outline how we can fully maximise its use for the benefits of patients.

“We are eager to hear from patients, industry, clinicians and the public to help us develop and shape the MedTech pathway to ensure it can provide the greatest clinical and cost-effective benefit, so please come forward with your views.”

 

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