RARE Daily

UK Industry Group Raises Concerns about Innovative Medicines Fund

August 29, 2023

Rare Daily Staff

The U.K.’s Innovative Medicines Fund, modeled on the success of the Cancer Drugs Fund seeks to support faster access to new medicines for rare diseases and other conditions while evidence of their value is collected, but an industry group says it will not fully benefit patients without changes.

While the ABPI said industry supports the IMF, it said there are concerns that the design of the fund makes it difficult for some companies to make use of it.

These included the mandatory requirement for companies to pay the full costs of treatment in perpetuity for patients using the fund should a medicine not be recommended by NICE for routine commissioning after the managed access period. It said this is challenging because many of the medicines expected to go into the Fund, such as those for rare diseases, need to be used life long and sometimes from childhood.

Concerns were also raised about the requirement for companies to pay back any expenditure that exceeds the IMF’s annual budget, something which individual companies have no control over.

“The Cancer Drugs Fund has allowed tens of thousands of NHS patients earlier access to cancer drugs deemed by NICE to potentially be value for money, but which need more evidence before entering routine commissioning,” said Paul Catchpole, ABPI’s director of value and access policy.  “The Innovative Medicines Fund was introduced more than a year ago to allow patients with other diseases, including rare conditions, to benefit from similar managed access to new medicines, while additional evidence is collected. No medicines have yet entered the fund on this basis, and we would like to work with NHS England and NICE to better understand why and help bring the fund to life so that patients can benefit.”

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