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The head of NHS England is to set out new plans for the NHS 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 treatments will be routinely available for the first time.
Speaking at NHS Expo conference in Manchester, Stevens will reveal innovations including: revolutionary new treatment for Hepatitis C set to save NHS England are 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; new treatment to restore sight using patients’ own teeth; routine commissioning of the latest technology to help deaf children hear; and an expansion of the test-bed programme testing the treatments and care models of the future.
He will also 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.
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 but at a much lower cost. The plans to accelerate and widen such treatments will save hundreds of millions of pounds from the nation’s medicine bill, estimated to be up to £300 million a year by 2021.
Stevens will additionally reveal a new medical technique called auditory brainstem implants which can help restore the sensation of hearing to some children born with profound deafness, and another innovative 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.
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.”