UK MHRA awarded £10 million to fast-track patient access to medical products

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A total of £10 million has been awarded to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)—an executive agency of the UK Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC)—to help bring innovative new medicines and medical technologies to UK patients more quickly, His Majesty’s (HM) Treasury has announced.

The funding will be used to accelerate routes for bringing innovative medical products developed in the UK onto the market, as well as those made and approved by other trusted regulatory partners globally.

Over the next two years, the MHRA will use the money to support development of a thorough but shortened process to speed up the approval process for cutting-edge treatments developed in the UK with the greatest opportunity to meet the country’s healthcare priorities, such as cancer vaccines and artificial intelligence (AI)-based therapeutics for mental ill-health.

It will also support the establishment of an international recognition framework, allowing the MHRA to capitalise on the expertise and decision-making of trusted regulatory partners, and provide patients with fast-track access to best-in-class medical products that have been approved in other countries.

The MHRA will still be responsible for the approval of all ‘recognition route’ applications, ensuring that all products are of sufficient quality to be licensed in the UK, and it will operate a robust process promoting patient safety and access to improve the health of the UK population.

Using the agency’s pre-existing international partnerships, developed through the Access Consortium and Project Orbis, the first regulatory partners that the MHRA intends to build new recognition routes with are the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the USA and the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA) in Japan.

June Raine, MHRA chief executive, said: “We greatly welcome the £10 million funding announced by HM Treasury today, which will be used to fund our ongoing innovation work and to accelerate the development of ground-breaking global recognition routes, which will give UK patients faster access to the most cutting-edge medical products in the world.

“This cash injection will ensure that we have access to the best resources, talent, and infrastructure to deliver this ambitious vision for patients across the UK.”

Steve Barclay, UK Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, added: “Technology is transforming our care for patients, delivering faster and more accurate diagnoses. This new funding will accelerate the delivery of cutting-edge treatments like cancer vaccines and new artificial intelligence technology that will make therapy more accessible to those who suffer from mental health conditions.

“It will also fast-track access to medical products that have been approved in other countries by trusted regulatory partners, ensuring we continue to provide the best, most innovative and safest treatments in the UK.”


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