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Life sciences strategy – a challenge for the UK diagnostics industry to turn vision into reality

Key measures announced today to boost the UK’s life sciences sector will help deliver more effective and accurate diagnostics tests leading to significant benefits to patients and the NHS.

As a leader in healthcare innovation and an essential part of the UK life sciences sector, the in vitro diagnostics (IVD) industry sees the launch of the Government’s UK Strategy on Life Sciences and NHS Chief Executive Innovation Review as an opportunity to deliver real change.

BIVDA’s Chief Executive, Doris-Ann Williams MBE, sat on the Innovation Review’s External Advisory Group which was instrumental in developing the proposals.  Commenting, Doris-Ann said:

Today’s announcements represent a crucial opportunity for the life sciences sector.  Taken together, the long–term strategy and the NHS Chief Executive Innovation Review will reinforce a genuine partnership between industry, the NHS and government – one which will deliver vital benefits to people’s health and to the UK economy.”

 

The measures announced today will support the IVD industry to innovate and continue to develop effective, accurate and efficient tests to improve outcomes for patients and save resources for the NHS.  Currently, 70% of all clinical decisions are based on the results of testing using IVDs.  More innovative diagnostic tests will allow healthcare professionals to target treatments better and more effectively, and enable earlier interventions.  BIVDA also welcomes the funding to enable personalised medicine where IVDs have an increasingly important role in identifying the correct drug regime for individual patients.

Doris-Ann added: “To accelerate the use of innovative technologies to benefit patients and the NHS, tangible and realistic proposals were needed – and we fully support the commitments announced today.  The NICE Implementation Collaborative, an innovation scorecard and a commitment to examine reimbursement mechanisms for diagnostics will all help the IVD industry to do what it needs to do to turn the vision into reality.”

 

The IVD industry has consistently called for financial, operational and performance incentives in the NHS to be better aligned to encourage the spread of innovation.  The commitments to explore options for a tariff for diagnostics and to link commissioning incentive payments will – if implemented – make a real difference to companies in the sector – large and small.

Systems and practices in the NHS have sometimes hampered the introduction of innovative solutions. However, the introduction of the NICE collaborative initiative to promote implementation of guidance will help drive change for the better.

Today’s announcements need to be followed by rapid action to agree next steps and responsibilities. The IVD industry and the whole life sciences sector is ready to engage with the Government, clinicians and other professionals in the NHS and the scientific community to invest time, expertise and knowledge to  build on the proposed actions and develop detailed policies for implementation.

IVD sector innovation review:
http://www.dh.gov.uk

The Uk Life Sciences strategy can be found at:
http://www.bis.gov.uk/assets/biscore/innovation/docs/s/11-1429-strategy-for-uk-life-sciences

 

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