New pathway to quicken NHS access to innovative medical technology

The Innovative Devices Access Pathway (IDAP) pilot has been launched, supported by £10 million of Government funding, with the aim of expediting UK patient access to innovative technologies by providing innovators and manufacturers with multi-partner support and targeted scientific advice.

The IDAP has been created jointly by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), Health Technology Wales (HTW), the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the National Health Service England (NHSE), the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), the Office for Life Sciences (OLS), and the Scottish Health Technologies Group (SHTG).

The ambition of this new pathway is to support the rapid development of innovative technologies that can be introduced into the NHS to address unmet clinical needs for patients and healthcare professionals at the earliest opportunity, without compromising on standards of safety, quality, and effectiveness. The pathway builds on the government’s intention to develop an end-to-end pathway for innovation as set out in the Medical Technology Strategy published on 3 February 2023 and delivers on the ambitions set out in the Government’s Life Sciences Vision.

Following announcement of the IDAP earlier this year, the government has now launched the pilot phase and innovators are invited to submit Expressions of Interest for access into the pathway.

Throughout the pathway the partners will offer targeted support to successful applicants which may include:

  • The development of a targeted product roadmap
  • System navigation advice
  • A priority clinical investigation
  • Joint scientific advice with partners
  • Support with Health Technology Assessments (HTA) for product realisation and adoption
  • Safe-harbour meetings to discuss NHS adoption
  • Exceptional use authorisation granted by the MHRA, provided necessary safety standards are met

David Lawson, Director of Medical Technology at the Department of Health and Social Care, said: “This launch marks an important step forward in the implementation of the Medical Technology Strategy published in February this year. It signals our commitment to move towards a rules-based pathway which will ensure the adoption of specialty innovative medical technology into the NHS, helping to benefit patient outcomes. The IDAP showcases our internationally respected regulatory and guidance bodies and the tailored support on offer for technologies that meet the specific needs of the NHS.”

Dr Marc Bailey, MHRA Chief Science and Innovation Officer, added: “The IDAP launch marks an exciting step in accelerating the delivery of cutting-edge medical technologies safely to patients across the UK. The insights gained during the pilot phase will be crucial in shaping the future direction of this new pathway. We encourage medical technology innovators in the UK and abroad to submit their applications and benefit from this combined support service. By working together, we can fast-track access to the most advanced technologies for those in urgent need.”

Submissions for the pilot phase open 19 September 2023 and close 29 October 2023. To be eligible for the programme, applicants must submit devices that do not have a CE mark, UK CA mark or regulatory approval. Products must meet criteria, addressing a significant unmet clinical need as defined in the programme. Applicants will need to demonstrate a proof of concept evidenced by data to a near-final prototype and have already sought clinical input from at least one UK health organisation or medical charity. Entry to the IDAP is open to both commercial and non-commercial innovators of medical technology in the UK and abroad.

Click here for further information about the IDAP and how to apply: The Innovative Devices Access Pathway (IDAP)


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