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UK Announces £340m a Year for Innovative Medicines Fund

on Thursday, 12 August 2021.

The UK Government and NHS England has announced that the new Innovative Medicines Fund (IMF) will have £340m a year of funding. This will create ringfenced funding of £680m, as it will be in addition to the £340m already in the Cancer Drugs Fund.

The IMF will support patients with any condition, including those with rare and genetic diseases, to get early access to the most clinically promising treatments where further data is needed to support the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence in making final recommendations around their routine use in the NHS.

An estimated one in 17 people will be affected by a rare disease in their lifetime. The aim of the IMF is to support the NHS with fast-tracking patient access to treatments that demonstrate substantial clinical promise but face significant uncertainty around their clinical and cost effectiveness and hence long-term value for taxpayers.

Sir Simon Stevens, the NHS Chief Executive, commented: “Tens of thousands of patients have already benefitted from the reformed Cancer Drugs Fund and the new Innovative Medicines Fund will mean all patients – not just those with cancer – will benefit from early access to the most promising and innovative treatments, backed by £680 million of ringfenced funds.

Coronavirus Legal Advice

The NHS Long Term Plan is leading to fast track access for innovative, cutting-edge therapies, at the same time as the NHS has also been treating more than 400,000 COVID hospitalised patients, and delivering the fastest and largest vaccination campaign in our history.

In the last year NHS England has successfully negotiated deals for a range of new treatments, including drugs which may allow toddlers with spinal muscular atrophy the chance to walk thanks to the ‘world’s most expensive drug’, as well as giving cystic fibrosis patients the latest medicines against their debilitating disease. This new fund will build on these successes, offering hope to even more patients.”

Exciting Times for Uptake of Innovation

This is all part of the Government's commitment to backing the life sciences industry and driving innovation.

The announcement does not contain further details about the entry criteria for qualification to benefit from the IMF. News on that is expected to follow.

The 2021 PING Conference, which will be held in collaboration with IQVIA, is entitled 'UK Life Sciences Opportunities in a Changed World'. The Conference will look at the growth in innovation and collaboration in particular. We will be hearing from leading speakers, including Blake Dark, Commercial Medicines Director at NHS England and Improvement, who will discuss the Innovative Medicines Fund amongst other changes in medicines priorities. Other speakers at the Conference include leading people at the Department of Health, MHRA, Government, Pfizer, GSK, Oxford University, and others. Find out more about the event.

If you would be interested in hearing more about these issues and being invited to attend the PING Conference, please contact Paul Gershlick in our Pharmaceuticals and Life Sciences team on 07795 570072, or complete the form below.

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