Delayed NHS MedTech funding mandate policy to launch in April

The policy aims to get medical devices, diagnostics, and digital products to patients faster.
By Tammy Lovell
01:31 am
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An NHS initiative to accelerate the uptake of innovative medical devices, diagnostics and digital products is due to launch in April. 

A consultation into the MedTech Funding Mandate took place in December 2019, but the launch was delayed due to COVID-19. 

Under the policy, NHS England and NHS Improvement will identify medical technologies which have been assessed and recommended by NICE as being effective and capable of saving money within the first year. 

The technologies to be supported by the policy in 2021/22 are: placental growth factor-based testing which rules out pre-eclampsia in pregnant women, SecurAcath which secures percutaneous catheters, HeartFlow which creates a 3D model of a patient’s coronary arteries and assesses blockages, and gammaCore – a handheld device which alleviates the symptoms of severe cluster headaches.

WHY IT MATTERS

The policy, developed as part of the NHS Long Term Plan, aims to get innovative technology to patients faster.

In 2021/22 it will support products that are demonstrated to be effective, deliver material savings to the NHS of more than £1 million over five years for the population of England, demonstrate a net saving in the first 12 months of implementing the technology, and have a budget impact of less than £20 million a year.

THE LARGER CONTEXT 

The mandate follows the Innovation and Technology Payment programme, which helps remove financial and procurement barriers to the introduction of new technologies to the NHS.

ON THE RECORD 

Luella Trickett, director, value & access at the Association of British HealthTech Industries (ABHI), said: “ABHI welcomes the publication of the MedTech Funding Mandate policy and the commitment it shows to the adoption and spread of HealthTech by the NHS. We are particularly pleased that, from 2022/23, the criteria will be expanded to include technologies that deliver costs savings within a three year timescale. 

“This recognises that while some HealthTech may have initial outlay costs, it can deliver significant and sustainable savings further down the line for the NHS, as well as transforming outcomes for patients.”

British In Vitro Diagnostics Association (BIVDA), chief executive Doris-Ann Williams, said “The publication of the mandate is an opportunity to celebrate the UK as a leader in technologies for health and care. This new system will allow pioneering IVD devices a faster and easier route to market, that is to patients, while helping the NHS make cost-effective decisions on high quality care.”

Barbara Harpham, chair of the Medical Technology Group said: “Any new funding stream such as the Medtech Funding Mandate that supports the uptake of proven, cost effective, medical technology is good news for patients. 

“The next step should be a more joined up approach to adopting new technologies, including a single ‘front door’ and a clear model for innovators – so it’s clear when they need to engage, the likely outcome, and the timelines involved.”

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