Personalised and innovative medicines for unique diseases and cancers will be available for NHS hospitals to use following the introduction of the Medicines and Medical Devices Bill on 13 February this year.
The bill will also reduce GP appointments due to the range of professions now being able to prescribe medicines in low-risk circumstances. New regulations on medical devices like breast implants, pacemakers and ultrasound imagers will be introduced which will increase patient safety.
Treatments of brain tumours and rare cancers will be streamlined as the new bill allows hospitals to use patient DNA and tissues to tailor-make treatments for individuals where other forms of medicines have failed. Drugs can also be developed like in cases where drugs only have a few minutes of shelf life but thanks to the new bill will now be able to be made available unlike before.
More professions in the sector will now be able to prescribe medicines in low-risk circumstances like with physiotherapists, paramedics and midwives. They will now be able to prescribe medicines for minor ailments and treat symptoms like pain relief and inflammation. The bill now ensures that the NHSs highly skilled workforce will be used efficiently and save patients’ time and reduce the amount of unnecessary GP appointments that are made.
The government will still work with stakeholders and the NHS to put safeguards in place regarding the limitations on what medicines are eligible and under what circumstances.
Pioneering health technology in the UK will be boosted with the highest standards being put in place regarding medical devices. Patient safety will take president and the bill ensures that the UK will lead the way in breakthrough healthcare technology. Regulators in technology will be able to respond quicker to changes in patient safety and technology thanks to the more flexible and faster system being put in place by the Medicines and Medical Devices Bill.
Suppliers will now have to register their companies with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) which will stipulate and enforce strict safety checks on all medical devices with tough enforcement action in the event that something goes wrong.
In the case of serious safety concerns, the Health and Social Care Secretary will have the authority to disclose any information about devices to the healthcare system and members of the public.
Health Minister Baroness Blackwood said:
“I am determined to help everyone who uses our world-leading NHS to access pioneering, cutting-edge treatments as soon as possible.
“The new bill will give our most treasured institution further freedom to innovate to improve the lives of countless people and protect patient safety to the highest standards.
“It will slash red tape, support uptake of treatments for people with rare diseases and empower those in the NHS who know what’s best for their patients to deliver the best quality care.”