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Lucy Chard
17 Mar 2023

UK Medicines Agency receives injection of £10 million to expedite medicine approvals

The HM Treasury in the UK has announced that they will be awarding the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) with £10 million to expedite the generation of new medicines for UK patients. 

The funding will facilitate the use of innovative medicines and new medical technologies and products, and medicines that have been approved by other regulatory bodies outside of the UK. 

A framework set up by the MHRA to speed up the approval process for particularly innovative medicines will ensure that cutting-edge treatments will be more accessible to patients, as well as medicines that can be applied very quickly. 

The funding will also be used to drive forward research and approval for cancer vaccines and AI-based therapeutics, which will be become more prevalent in UK medicine.

Part of the framework supports medicine use in the UK if the product has already been approved under a foreign regulatory body, thus maximising the potential of the medicine and enabling faster access to UK patients in need of the best care available. 

The MHRA will still be overseeing the approval of these other medicines via the framework, to ensure UK standards of quality and safety are still met, whilst improving patient access. 

The first partners who will be involved in these ‘recognition routes’ with the MHRA are the US FDA and the Japan-based PMDA, relationships that have been cultivated via the Access Consortium and Project Orbis.

Dr June Raine, MHRA Chief Executive, stated:

“We greatly welcome the £10 million 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.”

Steve Barclay, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, added:

“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.”

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