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UK to cut wait to innovative treatments by four years

Proposals in the Accelerated Access Review aim to speed up access to innovation

Accelerated Access ReviewNHS patients' wait for access to the latest innovations could be cut by four years under new government framework designed to improve healthcare efficiency and outcomes.

Published earlier this week, the 'Accelerated Access Review' sets out a series of recommendations for streamlining the access process for new drugs, medical devices, diagnostics and digital tools.

Chief among the proposals is a new Accelerated Access Pathway to offer “strategically important, transformative products” a faster route to national implementation.

The pathway would better align the current regulatory, reimbursement, evaluation and diffusion processes, and provide companies with tailored support in navigating the new, simplified system.

Chief executive of NHS England Simon Stevens pledged that the new service would be “increasingly open to agreeing innovative win/win product-specific reimbursement models” for greater patient access.

The recommendation has the potential to cut four years from the process, through an embedded Early Access to Medicines Scheme (EAMS) alongside more speedy technology appraisal and NHS commissioning.

Steve Bates, the BioIndustry Association's chief executive, welcomed the inclusion of a funded EAMS, and called for a “rapid response” from the government and NHS.

He said: “Implementing these recommendations will mean that NHS patients can be among the first to access innovative therapies coming out of UK biotech and NHS clinicians can remain global opinion leaders in their therapy areas.

“Not only this, but it would help act as a beacon for inward investment in the UK bioscience ecosystem.”

To facilitate this investment drive, the review suggests the creation of a new Strategic Commercial Unit to open up a commercial dialogue with innovators. The unit would consider flexible pricing models and design risk-sharing arrangements between the NHS and the innovator with a view to rapid uptake for better outcomes.

Incentivised innovation collaboration schemes with streamlined access routes could translate this investment to a local level, supported by a single digital platform as part of the NHS's Paperless 2020 project.

The propsals won support from the UK's pharmaceutical industry as “an important foundation for building a life sciences industrial strategy”.

Mike Thompson, chief executive of the ABPI, added: “The Accelerated Access Review… opens the door to greater collaboration between innovators, patients and the NHS to make the UK a world leader in researching, developing and using new treatments and technologies.”

Article by
Rebecca Clifford

26th October 2016

From: Research, Regulatory

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