The launch of the Innovative Medicines Fund in England poses some key questions


Good news for manufacturers with innovative pipeline therapies today, as £340m is allocated to a new fund for innovative medicines in England.

Working in the same way as the Cancer Drugs Fund, patients will be able to access clinically promising treatments faster through the Innovative Medicines Fund (IMF), whilst additional data is collected. Following a period of data collection, NHS England will make a decision on whether to routinely commission the therapy.

This may also lead to an opportunity to accelerate launch in the UK, with coverage under the IMF, whilst gathering additional clinical data (and starting to recoup R&D costs) that can support future pricing and reimbursement submissions elsewhere.

This represents a very welcome development for patients in disease areas with high unmet needs, and potentially an effective method to mitigate clinical and financial risk for the payer. However, with the current “innovative” launch environment so rich with high cost, high value cell and gene therapies, many questions are still remain as to how the IMF will be implemented. What scale of discount will the manufacturer be expected to provide for inclusion in the IMF? What are the additional data collection requirements? And what will happen if/when the £340m runs out?



Article published 21 July 2021.