Creating one of the most exciting health innovation systems in the world

Good morning – it’s such a pleasure to be right here right now.

It’s a privilege to be sharing a room with so many of our health leaders in the present day.

I know we share a joint ambition to see the UK stand up – even by way of this period of uncertainty. Not merely to guard our life sciences sector, however to drive even additional, quicker to create the proper circumstances for one of the most progressive health systems in the world to flourish.

And I need to thank all of you for the large contribution you will have already made to ensuring we realise this ambition.

We should always all be proud of the world-leading status the UK has constructed as a worldwide life sciences hub:

  • the UK acquired the highest degree of overseas direct investment in life science tasks in Europe
  • we’re in the prime 5 for international exports of pharmaceutical merchandise
  • 25 of the world’s 100 most-used medicines have been developed right here, using a public and philanthropic research infrastructure, which is, pound for pound, simpler than anyplace else on the planet

Underpinning this efficiency has been the exceptional collaboration we have now built between government, business, the NHS, patients and charities.

The very fact that the life sciences industrial strategy, driven by business – and underneath the wonderful leadership of John Bell, of course – has been adopted by not one however two genuinely formidable Sector Deals stands testament to the effectiveness of the UK life sciences ecosystem.

And already we’re beginning to see the fruits of this collaboration on the floor. From the world’s first Check Beds programme to the business flexibilities in the voluntary scheme.

In the pursuits of patients, business and the NHS are working collectively higher than ever before.

The chance… and the challenge

Nevertheless, that is no time to relaxation on our laurels. Whether or not we are working to finish the diagnostic odyssey of rare illnesses via genomics, looking for the subsequent, very important antimicrobial, or utilizing our expertise in AI to revolutionise radiology and pathology, the potential for as we speak’s health innovators to save lots of lives, rework our healthcare systems and shape the very health of society is genuinely game-changing.

No one will fake that this fee of progress will probably be straightforward, nevertheless. It presents apparent challenges.

We might want to:

  • evolve our regulatory system to maintain pace with AI and digital health
  • practice and equip our employees to harness new technologies
  • be sure that as we utilise datasets we retain public and clinician belief in how we use that knowledge

And given the NHS is a single, tax-funded system, if we are to vow stratified diagnostics, we should comply with up with reasonably priced, evidence-based ways to guage and fund personalised remedy. And we all know the inherent uncertainties involved in that modelling.

All of this can be for nothing, although, until we tackle the challenge I repeatedly hear from you: that the UK may be low and sluggish at adopting new improvements.

That is why the work we’ve completed by means of the Sector Deals to strengthen our ecosystem is so very important – each country in the world is dealing with these similar tensions but no authorities can meet them alone.

Overcoming them would require an formidable collaborative effort.

This is the reason regardless of the distance yet to cowl, I am so optimistic. Coming again into the job a second time, I’ve the advantage on all of you. I can see how much stronger the working practices are, I can see how rather more pragmatic and responsive decision-making has turn into. I can see the key appointments who have made the difference.

But I also know that regardless of the plain progress we now have already made, we have to be stressed and relentless in our drive to ensure that the UK maintains its rightful place at the leading edge of innovation.

Remaining at the forefront of innovation

First, we have to help the sector to develop and grow, building on our strengths in genomics, digital, and diagnostics.

For diagnostics, the Sector Deal introduced £79 million to determine the world’s first cohort of up to 5 million healthy members to help research, prevention and remedy across main persistent illnesses, together with most cancers, dementia, heart disease and psychological health issues.

This new affected person cohort will permit us to use and develop new technologies to determine these illnesses much earlier – before symptoms are present.

This has the potential to rework the approach individuals are handled, save hundreds of lives, create new alternatives for business, and to help the NHS in continuing to ship the highest quality look after UK patients.

In genomics, we are building on the nice success of the 100,000 Genomes Challenge, translating this achievement into medical care with the Genomic Drugs Service and creating a Nationwide Genomic Healthcare Technique.

From putting patients at the coronary heart of all the things we do, to taking a single streamlined strategy to knowledge and growing public understanding of the advantages of genomics, the strategy will set out how we will make the most of our world-leading belongings and put the UK at the forefront of the genomics revolution.

On knowledge, our imaginative and prescient is to make the UK residence to data-driven research, scientific advances and innovation to enhance patient outcomes.

Via the £37.5 million we are investing in Digital Innovation Hubs, we’re making constructive steps in the direction of offering entry to high-quality, world-leading datasets to stimulate a brand new wave of innovation to profit the UK healthcare system. This can enhance the means we are capable of forestall, detect and diagnose illnesses comparable to cancer, heart illness and asthma and mean that patients can profit from scientific breakthroughs a lot quicker.

And we’re driving a digital transformation in the NHS – the Secretary of State’s tech vision set out a map for digital requirements, interoperability and far more, and we now have launched NHSX – a digital transformation group worthy of the process at hand to ensure the NHS has the capability to deliver on these commitments.

A slick and flexible innovation ecosystem

Secondly, to allow effective collaboration and innovation, we need to guarantee the UK regulatory framework stays slick and straightforward to navigate.

The MHRA has a worldwide popularity for innovation and leadership, and we’re working to ensure it stays match for the future.

From creating a framework for point-of-care manufacturing to help advanced therapies, to working with NHS Digital on a pilot to test and validate algorithms and different AI used in medical units, to establishing a transparent regulatory pathway for genomic medicines and exams – we continue to steer the means.

We’re additionally providing regulatory flexibility to hurry up patient entry to progressive remedies.

The Early Entry to Medicines Scheme has offered over 1,000 patients with early entry to new remedies in areas of unmet need (forward of market authorisation), and, of course, we have to be proud to have been the first European nation to have made CAR-T obtainable to NHS sufferers.

Because it reaches its 20th anniversary, NICE is rightly recognised as a world chief in its subject. It has remained so by always evolving its strategy to ensure it keeps pace with developments in science, healthcare and the life sciences business.

In this spirit, I’ve requested NICE to assessment its know-how appraisal and extremely specialised know-how evaluation strategies, taking full account of the benefits provided by new remedies for very severe, life-threatening and uncommon circumstances. I encourage you all to interact absolutely with the evaluation and, of course, in the spirit of collaboration, I anticipate the life sciences business to return ahead with proposals which are affordable and truthful.

A co-ordinated and joined-up system – strengthening the AAC

Lastly, we must build a health system which helps the improvement and adoption of innovation in a joined-up means.

It’s important we create an setting which not solely allows the UK life sciences sector to thrive and develop, but the place innovators are capable of access the NHS in a approach that gets the most transformative remedies to patients as quick as attainable.

Once we announced our response to the accelerated access evaluation, we made clear our ambition that NHS sufferers ought to be amongst the first in the world to get life-changing remedies.

There is a cause for that: it is because we know it is going to save lives.

In the final yr, we have now made actual progress bringing collectively key authorities, NHS and business companions to type the Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC).

Underneath the course of Lord Darzi, the AAC has taken concrete steps to improve affected person entry to innovation.

Many of you’ll have seen the current media coverage on the increased NHS help to make pre-eclampsia checks more extensively out there. This represents simply one of the 7 high-performing applied sciences already receiving devoted help by way of the AAC, which have the potential to enhance the lives of up to 500,000 patients and save the NHS up to £30 million.

This course of of figuring out the most transformative improvements and getting these to patients as shortly as attainable remains the AAC’s core mission.

Nevertheless, in the present day I’m delighted to announce a step change in the scale and ambition of the AAC to ensure it fulfils that mission.

The AAC is now the single umbrella physique across the UK health innovation ecosystem to enhance adoption.

In the future, as now, the AAC will continue to be led by the AAC board chaired by Lord Darzi, and which brings collectively the chief executives and chairs of all the key healthcare system organisations with senior business and patient and clinician representatives.

Nevertheless, its remit and duties shall be significantly expanded.

Underneath Lord Darzi’s leadership, the companions of the AAC can be tasked with working collectively to supervise the health innovation ecosystem, making certain we’ve a seamless and efficient approvals course of for brand spanking new innovations in order that gaps and hand-offs are minimised as merchandise transfer from one bit of the system to a different.

It can allow early and flexible engagement on business preparations, and as soon as merchandise are ready for national rollout, will guarantee we are putting in place correct incentives, metrics and help so that progressive merchandise are being used as shortly and as a lot as applicable. For this to work, we also want to ensure that we stop utilizing products which might be not effective.

To enable this, a new devoted unit is being established within NHS England and NHS Improvement to help Lord Darzi and the board in delivering their imaginative and prescient. This unit will for the first time convey together help for innovation with those who truly fee and purchase issues.

This unit might be led by a dedicated chief government who will jointly report back to DHSC ministers and NHS England and NHS Enchancment for delivering the work of the AAC.

I’m delighted to announce that Dr Sam Roberts, presently Director of Innovation and Research at NHS England and NHS Enchancment, has been appointed as the AAC’s first chief government.

In the subsequent yr, we’ve got agreed that the AAC will make progress on delivering the following 6 key priorities:

  1. implementing a system to determine the greatest new innovations and assist the NHS undertake them – making certain that regulators and the NHS have a unified, clear view on the pipeline of products being developed
  2. establishing a single point of name for innovators working inside or outdoors of the NHS, to allow them to perceive the system and the place to go for help
  3. signaling the needs of sufferers and clinicians at each a national and local degree so the market can have a better view of what problems they should remedy
  4. establishing a globally main testing infrastructure, so innovators can generate the evidence they need to get their merchandise into the NHS quicker and at lower value
  5. overseeing a health innovation funding technique that ensures public money is concentrated on the areas of biggest impression for the NHS and sufferers, and aligns with the wonderful work of charities, analysis organisations and VC funds
  6. supporting the NHS to extra shortly undertake clinically cost-effective improvements, to make sure sufferers get access to the greatest new remedies and technologies quicker than ever before

By delivering these priorities, the AAC will have the ability to better determine and help the greatest new products from across the improvement pipeline.

The AAC will probably be empowered to be flexible and pragmatic sufficient to determine really game-changing improvements, that is probably not cost-neutral in-year however are assessed by NICE to be each clinically and cost-effective.

Moreover, the AAC will now look to help merchandise from the beginning of the improvement journey – products which have proven potential to deal with unmet medical needs, have novel modes of motion or which enable a big change to current pathways. They are more likely to treat giant goal patient populations or have vital monetary impression on the health service.

In delivering all of this, the AAC will, and should, stay a collaboration, requiring the enter of all companions across the system to ship on our imaginative and prescient.

And this should transcend simply the AAC board. The brand new AAC should continue to attract on the expertise and experiences of all of you – our partners from business, authorities and the health service – to ship the improvements we all know the system needs and wishes!

Formal preparations are being put in place to realize this – I do know Sam is chatting with you all later and can set out her plans in rather more element – I encourage you to get as involved as you possibly can.

I’m also of course delighted that Haseeb has agreed to take over from Eric as consultant for the pharmaceutical business on the AAC.


As a rare illnesses patient myself, you will perceive my private dedication to protecting and promoting the UK lifesciences ecosystem.

It’s patients like me who depend upon it the most.

That’s the reason I take a look at what we’re attaining and take braveness: with the exceptionally robust foundations cast by way of the Sector Deals, to the institution of NHSX to drive digital and knowledge transformation, and now the major enlargement of the AAC to drive adoption.

I am more confident than ever that collectively we are creating one of the most exciting health innovation systems in the world.

An innovation ecosystem that ensures:

  • innovators are higher capable of understand what the system needs and the right way to entry the NHS, so they can focus their assets on creating solutions that handle our most urgent medical priorities
  • an ecosystem in which clinicians are assured that they’ll be capable of entry the innovations that are tailor-made to their key problems and considerations
  • and, most importantly, an ecosystem in which more patients have entry to the innovations which supply them better prevention, earlier analysis and extra targeted remedy