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Medtech innovations to be supported through NHS reimbursement scheme

Out-Law News | 23 Jun 2016 | 5:06 pm | 1 min. read

Companies behind medical technology innovations put to use in the NHS in England will be paid through a system of automatic reimbursement under a new funding arrangement that has been announced.

NHS England said the creation of a new Innovation and Technology tariff would remove the need for medtech companies to negotiate the price for their devices and apps with multiple health bodies.

The NHS would also benefit from the arrangement because it would enable "national ‘bulk buy’ price discounts" to be negotiated "on behalf of hospitals, GPs and patients", it said.

The establishment of the funding scheme will "accelerate uptake of new medtech devices and apps for patients with diabetes, heart conditions, asthma, sleep disorders, and other chronic health conditions, and many other areas such as infertility and pregnancy, obesity reduction and weight management, and common mental health disorders", NHS England said.

NHS England said the new reimbursement scheme will tie in with three existing initiatives it runs to support innovation in the health service to offer a "clear 'route to market' for innovations found to be worthwhile" in assessment within those initiatives. The three schemes are the NHS test beds programme, the NHS England Commissioning through Evaluation programme and the NHS Innovation Accelerator programme.

Simon Stevens, NHS England chief executive, said: "The NHS has a proud track record of world firsts in medical innovation – think hip replacements, IVF, vaccinations and organ transplants to name just a few. But then getting wide uptake has often been slow and frustrating. Now – at a time when the NHS is under pressure – rather than just running harder to stand still, it’s time to grab with both hands these practical new treatments and technologies."

"In the rest of our lives we’re seeing the difference that innovative tech makes, and now the NHS will have a streamlined way of getting ground-breaking and practical new technologies into the hands of patients and our frontline nurses, doctors and other staff.  By doing that, we can transform people’s lives," he said.

The Innovation Accelerator provided support to 17 innovators in 2015, NHS England said. It is now looking to provide support to eight more innovators that have "new products, services, solutions or new ways of delivering care that address: disease prevention, early detection and long-term conditions", it said. Applications can be submitted to participate in the next round of the programme until 1 August.