Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks at the Conservative party's manifesto launch in Telford November 24, 2019. (Photo: REUTERS/Phil Noble)

The Conservative party has promised a new £500 million fund against hard-to-cure diseases.

The Innovative Medicine Fund would be the successor of the Cancer Drugs Fund, the party said in its election manifesto.

The party said the new fund will be bigger and better with an extended scope to more diseases including dementia.

“It is one of the great medical challenges of our time and this is our plan to tackle it: a record injection of cash tat unleashes the brilliant British science community that brought the world penicillin, IVF and Proton Beam Therapy for cancer,” Prime Minister Boris Jonson said.

The party added that finding a cure to dementia will be one of its biggest collective priorities with a double increase in dementia research funding and speeding up trial for new treatments.

The manifesto includes the already announced plan to recruit 6,000 more doctors in general practice and 6,000 more primary care professionals including pharmacists.

The ruling party, which promised a new vote on its Brexit deal by Christmas, also vowed to build and fund 40 new hospitals over the next 10 years, recruitment of 50,000 more nurses and make the UK the leading global hub for life sciences if re-elected.

Mike Thompson, Chief Executive of the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) welcomed the Conservative manifesto and said that the Innovative Medical Fund “would help people get the breakthrough medicines they need faster”.

“Developing new treatments relies on having the right skills and the right experts. The pledges made on education, skills and migration will be critical for securing the talent we need for the future of life sciences,” he said.

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