Medicine: Research

Department of Health written question – answered on 27th November 2017.

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Photo of Fiona Onasanya Fiona Onasanya Labour, Peterborough

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he has taken to improve the accessibility and affordability of medicines developed from publicly-funded research.

Photo of Steve Brine Steve Brine The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) assesses medicines on the basis of their value to patients and to the National Health Service. The source of financial support in developing each medicine is not assessed.

The NHS is required by law to ensure that all medicines recommended by NICE are funded within three months, ensuring patient access to cost-effective medicines in England. New medicines are not subject to payments under the voluntary Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme, and NHS England monitors access to innovative medicines via the Innovation Scorecard in recognition of the value this Government places on innovation.

Many countries fund research and development (R&D), often at an early stage. Private companies invest in R&D also. It is not possible to assess the contribution made by public investment or private investment in bringing products to market.

The Government and its partners recently published the response to the Accelerated Access Review which sets out plans to give patients quicker access to life-changing treatments; and, make the United Kingdom the best place in the world for industry to invest and innovate. A total of £86 million of funding has already been committed to make the vision a reality.

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