Life Sciences

Department of Health written question – answered on 12th December 2017.

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Photo of Chi Onwurah Chi Onwurah Shadow Minister (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Industrial Strategy)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, with reference to page 13 of the life sciences sector deal published on 6 December 2017, what steps the Government plans to take to improve NHS England’s commercial capacity and capability.

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

The Government and its partner bodies, including NHS England, recently published the response to the Accelerated Access Review setting out plans to improve NHS England’s commercial capacity and capability in relation to medicines procurement as well as the negotiation of bespoke commercial access arrangements for high cost drugs.

While establishing this commercial function is an operational matter for NHS England, the Government has already taken steps to support this process by transferring the Commercial Medicines Unit from the Department to NHS England on 1 April 2017. In addition, transferring the role of agreeing future Patient Access Schemes (PAS) from the Department to NHS England means that companies need to begin only one dialogue for each medicine.

NHS England is currently in the process of recruiting a number of other key posts to support this commercial function more broadly.

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