Westminster Health Forum

Since lockdown, we have been organising our full programme of conferences online. We will continue online until further notice, to ensure we play our part in helping our employees and delegates to remain safe during this time. We are pleased that so many key stakeholders, policymakers and other interested parties - both old friends and new delegates - are taking up the opportunity to discuss public policy issues and network at our impartial seminars. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time. So there are plenty of opportunities for you to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are. For booking-related queries, or information on speaking, please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk or contact us using one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7538736244 / +44 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7951044809.
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Priorities for biosimilars in the NHS - development, regulation, commissioning and improving engagement

Morning, Thursday, 29th April 2021


***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference will consider the key issues for the use and uptake of biosimilars in the NHS.


It takes place with the UK’s final regulatory guidance for biosimilars expected shortly following the end of transition from the EU, as well as the drive within the NHS to reduce medicine costs and achieve value for money.


The discussion at a glance:

  • opportunities and next steps for biosimilar development as the UK establishes its own regulatory framework following exit from the EU
  • priorities for competition, pricing and access
  • progress in achieving value for money and reducing costs through the use of biosimilars
  • the role of commissioning and the use of incentives in uptake and cost-effectiveness, as well as tackling variation, and improving clinician confidence in prescribing and patient awareness

The agenda:

  • The future for regulation of biosimilars
  • Development and use of biosimilars - UK priorities for competition, pricing and access, and for tackling challenges in bringing products to market
  • Improving medicines value for money in the NHS and the role of biosimilars - assessing progress so far
  • Improving access and adoption of biosimilars within the NHS
  • Commissioning and incentivising the use of biosimilars - improving clinician confidence in prescribing, supporting patient awareness, and tackling barriers to delivery
  • Next steps for the commissioning of biosimilars in the NHS and addressing variation

Relevant developments at a glance:

  • Guidance on licensing biosimilars, ATMPs and PMFs:
    • from the MHRA, published as the transition period from the EU ended
    • final guidance expected shortly following recent consultation, including a key change in the removal for the need for efficacy trials in most instances
  • NHS Long Term Plan - including ambitions to improve value for money in spending on medicines, as well as improving patient access to innovation
  • the Accelerated Access Collaborative - expanded in 2019 to identify and speed up approval, access and use of innovative health technologies
  • Life sciences industrial strategy update - from the Office for Life Sciences, committing to maximise the flexibility of regulation for innovation, as well as the utilisation of data
  • Commissioning framework for biological medicines - from NHS Clinical Commissioners, and NHS England and NHS Improvement, including the commitment to reduce spending on medicines by £300m by 2021 through the use of biosimilars

Key areas for discussion:

  • EU exit:
    • impact - assessing what it means for opportunities and challenges in advancing the development and use of biosimilars, and how they can be realised
    • future relationships - including with the European Medicines Agency
  • regulation:
    • efficacy trials - implications of MHRA guidance on biosimilars approval that removes the need for evaluation of effectiveness in most instances
    • speed to market - the potential impact of the guidance on improving the time it takes product rollout, and the potential for earlier launches in the UK
  • supporting the development of biosimilars - assessing priorities and what more can be done, including:
    • the role of initiatives such as the Accelerated Access Initiative and evaluating the support provided to pharmaceutical companies bringing new products to market
    • addressing the barriers that can be faced
  • pricing and competition - the biosimilars market going forward, strategies for supporting competition, and the impact of the voluntary scheme for branded medicines pricing and access
  • cost reduction and value for money in the NHS:
    • the impact of increased use of biosimilars - areas of success, remaining challenges, and strategies moving forward for securing consistent reductions across the country
    • where next? - the potential for future commitments and the use of biosimilars in line with NHS Long Term Plan ambitions to maximise the value for money spent on medicines, as well as speeding up patient access to innovation and the adoption process
  • commissioning - including the use of incentives to accelerate the use of biosimilars:
    • progress in clinician engagement and what more can be done to improve confidence and understanding
    • the use of gain sharing agreements
    • alignment of incentives between CCGs and trusts
  • patient awareness and engagement:
    • development of patient-centred care delivery - issues and best practice in improving patient understanding of biosimilars and switching treatments, including starting discussions earlier
    • implementation - overcoming challenges when a biosimilar becomes available which affects a large amount of patients, and the practicalities of reviewing care plans at pace and scale
    • information - the role of education materials from pharmaceutical companies, and further ways of improving accessibility and understanding
  • tackling variation:
    • regional medicine optimisation committees  - their role, and the opportunities for working at a systems level with integrated care systems in addressing unwarranted variation
    • levelling up - what more can be done to achieve consistently in the adoption and use of biosimilars across the country

Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders. Overall, we expect speakers and attendees to be a senior and informed group including Members of both Houses of Parliament, senior government and regulatory officials involved in this area of policy, as well as from representatives from the NHS, executive agencies including clinical staff, CCGs, medicine optimisation committees, regulators, local authorities, the life sciences sector, pharmaceutical companies, the independent and third sectors, patient groups, law firms, consultancies, and others affected by the issues discussed as well as academics and think tanks, together with reporters from the national and specialist media.


This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording and transcript to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference



Keynote Speaker

Dr Christian Schneider

Director, National Institute for Biological Standards and Control

Chair

Rt Hon the Lord Lansley

former Secretary of State for Health

Speakers

Tracey Roberts

Partner, Pinsent Masons

James Roach

Managing Director, Conclusio, and former Director, NHS West Essex ICP

Senior speaker confirmed from the British Biosimilars Association