BIA submission to the 2020 Labour Health Commission
In our submission we said:
- A vibrant UK life sciences sector can bring many economic and social benefits through rewarding, well-paid jobs and high-value exports, but our ultimate shared aim is for patients to have access to lifesaving and life-enhancing new medicines.
- Treatments produced by the life sciences sector save and improve millions of lives in the UK and around the world every year. Despite advances that have given hope to children and adults with terrible life-limiting conditions, too few NHS patients are able to access the gold-standard of care
- A much broader understanding of value is needed when assessing and appraising medicines that goes beyond pure cost-effectiveness and encompasses wider ‘quality of life’ measures. NICE and the NHS must be much more ambitious when reviewing their processes.
- Traditional cost-effectiveness measures – such as Quality-Adjusted Life Years (QALYs) used by NICE – are inappropriate for rare and ultra-rare medicines owing to small patient populations. A separate process for rare diseases medicines that can take into account these challenges would be welcome.
- We are encouraged by the development of an Innovative Medicines Fund but are keen to ensure that it is not dominated by oncology medicines and that it proves a sustainable vehicle for rapid access to orphan medicines, in particular.