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Putting patients first: A new era for MHRA

5th July 2021 about a 3 minute read
"MHRA’s new delivery plan sets out how the UK will apply the lessons learned from the pandemic and grasp the opportunity of innovation now we have left the EU to make sure NHS patients are able to benefit first from all medical innovations." Innovation Minister Lord Bethell

A new and ambitious Delivery Plan  centred  on putting patients first, has been published by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

“Putting patients first: A new era for our agency,” aims to keep a constant focus on delivering meaningful outcomes for patients, protecting public health through excellence in regulation and science and becoming a truly world-leading, enabling regulator.

At the core of the plan is how the MHRA will draw together its scientific and regulatory expertise to help facilitate the UK life sciences sector and health service; develop new regulatory frameworks; quickly realise the benefits of new therapies and innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), to improve outcomes for patients; and ensure the continued safety, quality and efficacy of medicines and medical devices.

The plan recognises the significant challenges the agency will have to overcome to deliver against its ambition. Priorities include delivering the recommendations set out in the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review by ensuring patients are listened to and engaged with more systematically.

Another key challenge will be the strengthening of international regulatory relationships and enhancing partnerships with the wider health system now that the UK has left the EU; the agency will need to work quickly to evolve regulatory frameworks, so they remain fit for purpose in an era of fast-paced, cutting edge scientific developments.

Underpinning this delivery is the creation of a new business model that provides a financially sustainable future that will meet the increasing expectations of patients, healthcare professionals, partners, the pharmaceutical industry, government and wider industry and non-profit stakeholders alike.

The plan sets out 14 objectives grouped into 6 central themes:

* Scientific innovation
* Healthcare access
* Patient safety
* Dynamic organisation
* Collaborative partnerships
* Financial sustainability

Dr June Raine CBE, Chief Executive, Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, said: “Our response to the COVID-19 pandemic is proof positive that we can rise to challenges with fresh thinking and innovative approaches – fulfilling our responsibilities to patients first and foremost, as outlined in the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review, and opening up the many opportunities now that the UK has left the EU, with real benefit to the brilliant UK Life Sciences industry and to healthcare.

“This plan is our response to these challenges and more. We have shown that we can not only excel under pressure and in exceptional circumstances, but also where we can take direct action to support and protect patients and improve health outcomes.

“It marks a step-change in our efforts to build a world-leading organisation, bringing together excellence in science and regulation to serve patients and public health to the best of our ability.”

Innovation Minister Lord Bethell said: “MHRA’s new delivery plan sets out how the UK will apply the lessons learned from the pandemic and grasp the opportunity of innovation now we have left the EU to make sure NHS patients are able to benefit first from all medical innovations.”

* The Delivery Plan 2021-2023 replaces the current Corporate Plan 2018-2023.