706 - Drugs (Answered)

Mrs Sharon Hodgson
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that patients benefit from scientific research into personalised medicines.

George Freeman

Personalised or ‘precision’ medicine is expected to transform healthcare in the coming decades through more accurate diagnosis leading to better predictions of prognosis and better targeted treatments, fewer side effects and improved medicines efficacy. Improved understanding of the role played by genetics in the development of disease has been directly supported through the 100,000 Genomes Project the main phase of which was launched by the National Health Service in April 2015 and aims to sequence 100,000 whole human genomes for certain rare/inherited diseases and cancers by the end of 2017. In addition, the National Health Service will be working closely with the Precision Medicine Catapult to accelerate the development and adoption of precision medicine throughout the NHS.

Combined with the Early Access to Medicines Scheme and the Accelerated Access Review of IMMT, the Government is actively working to support faster patient access to better targeted and personalised medicines.