The much-vaunted Innovation Pass, which could allow patients with rare diseases to receive new drugs which have not been appraised by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, has been launched by the UK government.

The pilot scheme has been launched for consultation after details for the Pass were first disclosed in July as part of the Office of Life Sciences Blueprint. It will be funded from a ring-fenced £25 million budget in 2010/11 and is being run in partnership with NICE.

During the three-year pilot, the Innovation Pass will allow (currently-limited) data to be collected on the impact of these new drugs and their cost effectiveness, helping to contribute towards a future NICE appraisal.

The government has also just hosted the UK Innovation Investment Fund Investor Summit in the City of London. For in-depth analysis on this and the Innovation Pass, and the response from the pharmaceutical industry and other stakeholders, be sure to get the PharmaTimes UK News elert tomorrow morning.