Govt. announces £86m fund for health technology innovators and new medicines

NHS, patient care
“The government’s ambition is that NHS patients get world-leading, life-changing treatments as fast as possible,” said Lord O’Shaughnessy, Health Minister

Government plans to take forward recommendations made in the Accelerated Access Review

[London, UK] The Department of Health and Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy have today announced a new funding round worth up to £86m for companies to design health technologies and develop new medicines, aimed at SMEs.

This plan is reportedly one of the first steps marking implementation of the recommendations made in the Accelerated Access Review, published last October.

In a statement, Lord O’Shaughnessy, Health Minister, said:

“The government’s ambition is that NHS patients get world-leading, life-changing treatments as fast as possible.

“That can’t happen unless we support medical innovation and tear down the barriers – like speed to market and access to funding – that can get in the way, especially for SMEs.”

Fund divided in four packages

The £86m will be divided into four packages, including £39m for Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs), a £35m ‘Digital Technology Catalyst’ for developers, up to £6m during the following three years for SMEs that need to conduct proof-based studies for their innovations, and a £6m ‘Pathway Transformation Fund’ for NHS organisations to overcome technology implementation barriers. 

“The UK is a world leader in health tech but we must not be complacent. The Digital Health Technology Catalyst will be a great boost for innovators in the sector,” added Ben Moody, techUK Head of Health and Social Care, in a statement.

“The announcement also recognises that the resources needed to generate evidence to show that a technology is worth reimbursing can be prohibitively difficult for SMEs - so the fund to support evidence generation for innovative devices is particularly welcome,” Moody said.