UK medicines regulators will receive £10m to help boost the speed up the process of bringing innovative drugs and devices to patients.
The Medicines and Heatlhcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) will use the funding to develop fast-track approval routes for medicinal products developed in the UK as well as those approved by other trusted partners around the world.
Over the next two years, the MHRA will develop a ‘thorough but shortened’ regulatory process to approve treatments including those that meet the healthcare priorities for cancer vaccines and AI-based therapeutics for mental ill-health, the Government announced.
The money, announced in the Spring Budget, will also be used to establish an international recognition framework to enable the medicines regulator to capitalise on the expertise and decision-making of trusted regulators in other countries to fast-track ‘best-in-class medical products’ developed outside of the UK.
Using the Agency’s pre-existing international partnerships, the MHRA said it would first focus on building new recognition routes with the FDA in the US and the PMDA, in Japan.
Dr June Raine, MHRA chief executive, said: ‘We greatly welcome the £10m 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.’
Health and social care secretary Steve Barclay said: ‘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.’