While it continues to lead the market, the MHRA faces growing challenges from peers that have improved their service levels. A faster-paced, more interactive technology-led business model was needed, to allow the UK agency to re-orientate itself towards a more global, emerging-markets focus. Its Sentinel case-management system, which has been in place for more than a decade, was inflexible and could not deal efficiently with the surge in demand for faster drug licensing, better pharma-covigilance and higher public-safety standards.

Strategy and Solution

Streamlined processes

Agile methods, technologies and tools are automating, streamlining and accelerating the processes that help the MHRA fulfil its mandate, following a dynamic project with Accenture. The MHRA’s workflow is already more flexible and its documentation more transparent. The organisation will be able to deliver better, faster business outcomes for pharmaceutical industry customers, and higher quality assessments will improve public safety.

The first big programme: Clinical Trials

The first large delivery programme to utilise the full DevOps capability is the Clinical Trials programme, which is scheduled to go live in early 2019.

Document management

Functionality that gives operators access to more information and wider access to documents on a single screen with minimal mouse clicks

Integration with Cloud Finance

Real-time integration with the cloud finance system enables the instantaneous creation of invoices and greater visibility of payment status.

Surfacing legacy data

Surfacing of legacy data within the new application to simplify the deployment process and enable early recognition of benefits

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Two-pronged transformation

In 2016 the MHRA transitioned to case management and away from traditional, linear business models. Since April 2017, Accenture has had a dedicated a team of around 40 professionals implementing new technology capabilities that use and promote the DevOps platform. Our engagement has comprised both an Agile Delivery Assessment and the implementation of a DevOps framework that aims to optimise IT delivery by straddling the divide between development and operations and that the MHRA wants all its suppliers to adopt.

About MHRA

The Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is an executive agency of the UK’s Department of Health and Social Care, responsible for ensuring the efficacy and safety of medicines and medical devices. Originally formed in 2003, it incorporates both the National Institute for Biological Sciences (NIBSC) and the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) and employs more than 1,300 people.

"I never thought we would have sight of a 'wire frame' mock-up of our new system so early in the process. I have been involved in other projects where it took years for the users to actually have sight of the potential end-product."

– MARTIN O’KANE, Head of Clinical Trials Unit – MHRA

Three-phase delivery

From assessment to implementation to ongoing alignment

Agile delivery assessment

Achieving enterprise-wide agile sponsorship and governance

DevOps framework implementation

Standardising development across the organisation

Ongoing alignment with changing business

Transition from risk-response to continuous development mindset

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