Embracing new innovation in the face of Brexit

Published: 13-Jul-2018

Dr Paul Catchpole commented at the NICE Annual Conference that adopting innovations will help bring investment into the UK and crucially help get more NHS patients onto ground breaking clinical trials programmes

As Britain Brexits from the EU, it’s going to be more important than ever that the UK convincingly demonstrates to the world that it embraces new innovations.

Adopting innovations will help bring investment into the UK in the form of research, high-value jobs, manufacturing and crucially, in getting more NHS patients onto ground breaking clinical trials programmes.

This is why the Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC), a unique partnership of representatives from healthcare organisations and the health technology industry, is now more important than ever.

With more than 7000 medicines in the pipeline of the global pharmaceutical industry, Catchpole said we need to find new ways of spotting the real innovations that need to be singled out.

Commenting that Global regulatory systems are helping us with the process. They all focus on the concept of ‘breakthroughs’, which means something that both addresses an ‘unmet’ medical need whilst at the same time appearing to offer great clinical potential for improving patient outcomes.

However, taking a clinical perspective alone is not enough, he said. Medicines that deliver efficiency and operational savings to the NHS and can be adopted at scale and pace to help deliver on system-wide priorities and disease area objectives are the types of transformational innovation that we must also go and seek out.

There are six key factors by which to measure the success of the Accelerated Access Collaborative. These are:

  1. An open, transparent and clear process, which creates a level playing field for all innovators to propose transformational innovations for consideration by the AAC
  2. Selecting innovations for an accelerated access pathway, which address genuine shared problems faced by the system, that we do not presently have solutions for
  3. All stakeholder groups around the AAC table playing their part in thinking creatively about new ways to accelerate adoption and putting this in place, which should not be just ‘more of the same’
  4. Clear success metrics for AAC adopted innovations regularly monitored and reported upon: be it eligible versus actual patients treated; cost reductions or savings achieved; or efficiency gains realised
  5. Regular and clear communications about the progress of the AAC bearing in mind there is a global audience following closely
  6. Frequent and structured capturing and sharing of learnings so that all innovations can benefit from the AAC initiative and not just those on an accelerated pathway. Crucially this means, in practice using the learnings from the AAC to inform policy changes across the access pathways for innovation, joining up NICE, NHS England and the service in a seamless and integrated process. This won’t happen on its own.

The life sciences industry stands ready to play its part.

If the industry gets these things right the Accelerated Access Collaborative will help demonstrate that the UK really is able to harness the innovations from across the life sciences sector, adopting the right innovations at pace and scale and at speed. It is this which will help keep the UK on the global stage and attract investment to keep us healthy in post Brexit Britain.

This piece is adapted from a speech given by Dr Paul Catchpole at the NICE Annual Conference, 26 June 2018 in Manchester.

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