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NHS England and NICE consult on fast tracking new medtech


Mark Say Managing Editor

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Image source: Sikham

NHS England and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have published a consultation on a new approach for fast tracking the development of new technology products for healthcare.

They said the consultation document, developed with partners including the Office for Life Sciences and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), is aimed at providing greater certainty for medtech innovators and suppliers and improving outcomes for patients.

It includes, as one of its principles, a commitment to automatic funding to support the routine commissioning of the technologies that meet a required criteria.

Other principles include that the: the pathway to development should be supported by evidence based advice and guidance; it requires a lifecycle approach to support early stage technologies; it should support the transformation of clinical pathways and services; and it should help tackle ethnic and unfair biases in medtech.

Among the features is that NICE will determine the clinical and cost-effectiveness of the most promising new medical technologies, for which it is already updating its evaluation methods.

The document also states that the pathway will evolve over time.

Vital role in health

Dr Vin Diwakar, interim medical director for transformation at NHS England, said: “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.”

Mark Chapman, director of the Health Technologies Programme at NICE, said: “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 consultation will run until 15 August.

It follows the publication in February of last year of a new medtech strategy by the Department of Health and Social Care, and a roadmap for the future regulation on medical technologies by MHRA earlier this year.




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