Tuesday, September 12, 2017

NHS England New Report - HCV treatments saving thousands more lives

The head of NHS England, Simon Stevens, will today (Tuesday 12 September) set out an ambitious vision for the National Health Service as it approaches its landmark 70th anniversary – calling on health and care leaders to unleash the game changing potential of innovation for both patients and taxpayers.
Speaking at Expo conference in Manchester, Mr. Stevens will unveil new plans to free up funds for the latest world class treatments by slashing hundreds of millions from the nation’s drugs bill and announce that new and cutting edge treatments will be routinely available for the first time.

Innovations include:
  • Revolutionary new treatment for Hepatitis C is set to save NHS England more than £50 million as well as saving thousands more lives
  • New measures to slash up to another £300 million from the nation’s medicines bill
  • Trailblazing new treatment to restore sight using patients’ own teeth
  • Routine commissioning of the latest technology to help deaf children hear
  • An expansion of the test-bed programme testing the treatments and care models of tomorrow
Mr Stevens will reveal that investment in new oral treatments that can cure Hepatitis C more quickly and with fewer side effects has already led to a 10 per cent reduction in the number of deaths and an unprecedented reduction in liver transplants for Hepatitis C of around 50 per cent.

This is the latest in a series of innovative drug deals that has been made possible by NHS England working closely with industry to bring prices down, expand treatment options and make new treatments available rapidly – in one case within just four weeks of a treatment receiving its marketing authorization.

Health and care leaders will also hear how new rules on the use of biosimilar medicines – cheaper but equally clinically effective to original ‘biological’ treatments –giving doctors a choice of new treatments for thousands of patients with serious and painful conditions, such as cancer and rheumatoid arthritis, but at a significantly reduced cost.

Currently six of the top 10 drugs in the UK by cost are biological medicines – the most complex and therefore expensive used in the NHS. The plans to accelerate and widen the uptake of biosimilars will save hundreds of millions of pounds from the nation’s medicine bill, estimated to be up to £300m a year by 2021.

Simon Stevens, NHS England Chief Executive said: “The NHS has a proud history of innovation. As our 70th anniversary approaches it is important that we do not just celebrate these often unsung achievements but also unleash the full potential of innovation in treatment and commissioning to ensure we deliver high quality healthcare for future generations.”

Further detail on the Hep C announcement is in a new report that shines a light on specialised services, those which support people with a range of rare and complex conditions will also be published. It highlights recent standout investments across blood and infection, cancer, mental health, internal medicine, trauma and woman and children and how these will continue to be rolled out over the coming years.

One of those treatments to benefit from £700,000 of new investment is a medical technique called auditory brainstem implants which can help restore the sensation of hearing to some children born with profound deafness. The operation is performed by Central Manchester University Hospitals, and involves inserting a device directly against the brainstem, bypassing the cochlea and auditory nerve and could help around nine children a year.

Another innovative procedures outlined is a unique life-changing procedure known as osteo-odonto-keratoprosthesis (OOKP) or ‘tooth in-eye’ surgery, which restores vision to blind patients by using part of the patient’s own tooth root to support an optical cylinder.

The procedure takes place in several stages and is performed on blind patients with damaged corneas, for whom traditional transplants are not suitable. One patient who had the procedure was blind for twelve years before the surgery but after the bandages came off, he immediately saw faces and pictures on the hospital ward.

Mr Stevens has also signalled NHS England’s intent to continue to develop the successful Test Bed Programme as the NHS goes into its 70th year. Seven sites have been working with 40 innovators, 51 digital technology products, eight evaluation teams and five voluntary sector organisations to understand which products and processes can save and transform lives, at the same or lower cost than current practice.

Publication type: Report
Document first published:12 September

Blood and infection                                 

Rolling out new oral treatments for Hepatitis C
The largest single investment in new treatments for the NHS in 2016/17 was for new oral Hepatitis C treatments that can cure the disease.
NHS England has embarked on a sustainable roll-out strategy and we now have evidence that the investment in these game-changing treatments and the prioritisation by the Hepatitis C operational delivery networks of patients with greatest unmet clinical need, has significantly reduced deaths and liver transplants. By the end of August 2017, approximately 20,000 patients will have been treated, which amounts to more than 10 per cent of the total estimated infected population. Since we have followed NICE guidance to focus on those at greatest clinical need, this has led to a rapid reduction in mortality (by around 10 per cent) and an unprecedented reduction in liver transplants for Hepatitis C Virus of around 50 per cent.  
Through our work on drug pricing, the NHS is able to increase the number of patients treated within available resources. Industry has responded positively to our successive drug procurements and moved to an innovative ‘pay for cure’ approach for all hepatitis C treatments. This means the NHS only pays for the drug if patients are cured, which frees up funds and allows consideration of other access issues. For example, there are a small number of people with advanced disease for whom the first treatment was unsuccessful, and they need to be retreated urgently. Although NICE are set to review evidence for future guidance including retreatment, in the meantime NHS England has approved a policy to allow those with the most advanced disease to be retreated. As well as improving access for these patients, the number of people to be treated overall will increase by 25 percent this year (2017/18).
Read the full report:
Download PDF

For more information on the Test Bed Programme see our website here.
continue reading.. 

To keep up to date with all the latest specialised commissioning news, or to get directly involved with our work, please visit https://www.england.nhs.uk/commissioning/spec-services/ get-involved/

The Hepatitis C Trust responds to Simon Stevens speech highlighting NHS investment in hepatitis C treatment
In a speech at the Expo conference in Manchester today, NHS England head Simon Stevens emphasised a Health Service commitment to invest in revolutionary new treatments for hepatitis C.
The Hepatitis C Trust welcomes NHS England’s commitment to increasing the numbers of hepatitis C patients treated and cured with new highly effective oral treatments. The Trust is delighted to see initial evidence that mortality from hepatitis C is beginning to decrease in the United Kingdom. In order to sustain this decline in deaths, and to deliver the government’s commitment to the World Health Organisation target to eliminate hepatitis C by 2030, NHS England must ensure the curative treatments are available to all those infected.

Charles Gore, Chief Executive of The Hepatitis C Trust, said: “The new treatments offer a truly remarkable opportunity to eliminate hepatitis C as a global public health concern, making this deadly virus a thing of the past. The treatments have already transformed the lives of those with most advanced HCV-related disease. The government must now seize this possibility and take bold action in partnership with the pharmaceutical industry to make the availability of these treatments truly universal”.

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