8th November 2017

Fast-Track Scheme For 'Breakthrough' Treatments

Fast-Track Scheme For 'Breakthrough' Treatments


On 3rd November 2017, the Government has announced a new fast-track route into the National Health Service (NHS) for ‘breakthrough’ medicines and technologies in a bid to dramatically speed up the time it takes for patients to benefit from groundbreaking products for most major conditions such as dementia, cancer and diabetes.

The new ‘Accelerated Access Pathway (AAP)’ is expected to make it faster for finance and evaluation approvals to be negotiated by the NHS and allow them to purchase products more quickly.

The Accelerated Access Pathway will come into effect in April 2018 and will mean that products with the greatest potential to change lives could be available up to four years earlier than is currently possible.

Promising drugs will receive ‘breakthrough’ designation, unlocking a package of public sector support from clinical development help through to faster commercial deals with the NHS.

The government plans to provide an £86m package to help medicine developers gain access to the NHS market and provide medicines to patients.

The package includes:

  • £35 million towards small and medium-sized firms and their digital products.
  • £39m to encourage take-up of new medical technologies.
  • £6 million to support medical professionals to use new treatments and technologies in everyday practice

The Executive Director of The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, Dr Richard Torbett said that the government's commitment to speeding up access to the most innovative medicines was very much welcome.

The chair of the Accelerated Access Collaborative, Sir Andrew Witty said that Patients, scientists and the UK economy will all benefit from the positive steps outlined by the government.

He further added that the opportunity to ensure the NHS gets rapid access to cost effective breakthrough technologies is vitally important and he is delighted to help lead the effort to deliver this.

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