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Faulkner Special treatment SciCult sp issue main doc Feb017 final CLEAN.pdf (507.27 kB)

Special treatment? Flexibilities in the politics of regenerative medicine’s gatekeeping regimes in the UK

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-09, 05:24 authored by Alex Faulkner
Emerging flexibilities are apparent in gatekeeping regimes applicable to regenerative medicine products, raising issues about the extent to which and forms in which such flexibilities might promote emerging products as a sector warranting special treatment, in the context of recent policy developments in the UK and wider European Union. Concepts of ‘gatekeeping’, ‘gatekeeping regimes’ and ‘gateways’ can point to the ways in which regulatory institutions, health technology assessment organisations, and national planners and purchasers of health services together define and control entry to the medical product marketplace and the adoption of products into the public healthcare system. Flexibilities in existing regimes and new gateways are a way of maintaining ‘connection’ between gatekeeping regimes and technoscientific innovation in order to steer innovation pathways. The gateways concept has affinity with that of Callon’s ‘obligatory passage points’. A wide set of recent policy documents show that the measures promoted exhibit a range of alternative gateways that are being constructed around central, legal, restrictive gatekeeping regimes. However, it would be easy to over-estimate the significance of these developments as relaxations that would favour innovative producers and their products on a large scale with wide public health impacts. The concepts of gatekeeping regimes and gateways enable understanding of hybrid developments of exceptions and exemptions to dominant regimes which bridge across the arenas of market regulation, health technology assessment and healthcare system planning. These arenas are being drawn closer together as a means of politically managing stakeholders’ aims in the UK, EU and other innovating biomedical health systems globally.


Regenerative medicine and its potential for development and diffusion: an analysis of emergent value systems and health service readiness; G1398; ESRC-ECONOMIC & SOCIAL RESEARCH COUNCIL; R15474 - ES/L002779/1

State strategies of governance in global biomedical innovation; G1180; ESRC-ECONOMIC & SOCIAL RESEARCH COUNCIL; ES/J012521/1


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