Manufacture, marketing and supply

Part of Medicines and Medical Devices Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 4:15 pm ar 8 Mehefin 2020.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Jo Churchill Jo Churchill The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care 4:15, 8 Mehefin 2020

Once again, I understand fully the intention of the amendment: to tease out the fact that small, incremental changes might lead to a divergence further down the line. However, I gently say that the purpose is to enable, so that, come January, we are in exactly the same place.

I will also say that innovation is a two-way street.An example is our ability to publish online to help people who might find it difficult to read the small print on paper in a packet of medicines, or who might be better able to understand from pictures how a device can be enabled or can help them. There is the chance, once we are in January 2021, to make those positive movements. That may lead to the Europeans looking and thinking, “Actually that would be useful.” There is no unique place for the good idea—I think that that is what I am gently trying to say. There is no place for a particular divergence, and we would not want there to be. As I said, there is consultation with stakeholders and the industry to be done on the exact points that have been alluded to.

I would like to reassure hon. Members that the Government view patient safety as the cornerstone of the medical device regulation. The availability of state-of-the-art medical devices on the market is crucial to patient safety, but also to patient quality of life. That is why clause 12(2) imposes a duty on the Secretary of State to consider the three factors that we have discussed when amending the medical device regime: safety, availability and attractiveness. In considering these aspects at every point that changes are made to the medical device regulatory regime, the Government will seek to ensure that the UK medical devices landscape can safely meet the medical needs of UK patients.

The future for medical device innovation is subject to ongoing engagement with the industry, key stakeholder groups and representative groups, and it should also be noted that there are several innovation routes that have been established in the UK, including the National Institute for Clinical Excellence and other organisations working the NHS, such as Accelerated Access Collaborative, Beyond Compliance and the health science networks, and that encourage innovation in the UK medical device industry so that both current and future clinical and patient need can be met.

As I have noted, clause 12(2) already seeks to ensure that the safety of medical devices, their availability and the attractiveness of the UK as a place to supply and develop them are at the forefront of medical device regulation in the UK. On that basis, I ask the hon. Member for Nottingham North to withdraw the amendment.