Patients invited to engage in government review to speed up use of new treatments and tests

Today sees the launch of the online public engagement part of a review to find ways of speeding up access to innovative new drugs, devices and diagnostics for patients in the UK[1]. The patient champion for the review urges patients and patient representatives to get involved.

The Accelerated Access Review (AAR) is a government initiative which began in March and is part of The NHS Five Year Forward View. It could possibly help improve access to future M.E. treatments and diagnostic tests.

Transparency and the collaboration of patients, clinicians, charities, academics and drug companies are central to the Accelerated Access Review, with the ideas for reducing the barriers preventing implementation of new discoveries being crowdsourced[2].

There are 4 themes covered by the AAR[2]:

  • Setting out principles and priorities to make sure innovation is based upon patient need rather than the sometimes opposing financial aims of drug companies.
  • Finding ways to speed up drug development pathways so that the time it takes innovations from discovery to being implemented is shorter, while still being safe. I’ve written about the current development pathways and their problems in this article.
  • Funding drug innovation so that it is cost-effective for the NHS, whilst still being driven by patient need.
  • Speeding up evidence-based changes to NICE guidelines and in turn the commissioning of new drug treatments and tests by local Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs). This would make sure innovations are adopted more quickly and more consistently by health professionals, and therefore reach patients more quickly.

A study into the barriers preventing innovations reaching patients was commissioned, and can be found on this page of the AAR website. The procedures involved in new treatments being assessed for inclusion in the NICE guidelines may be of interest and is in the National Reimbursement section (pages 33-36).

Hilary Newiss, Chair of National Voices, is a patient champion for the review and urges patients and patient representatives to get involved. She gives some suggestions about the sort of patient experiences that might give you some ideas for improvements in her article on the AAR website.

This is a great opportunity to have our say, so to have yours, head over to the engagement website, which stays open for public comments until 4th September 2015. The whole review will be completed by the end of 2015, with an interim report for comments to be published late summer[1].

As always, comments are welcome in the section below, with some ground rules for safe discussions.

The consultation has now closed and the final report can be read here


1 GOV.UK. Taking part in the Accelerated Access Review: an update – News stories – GOV.UK. 2015. (accessed 15 Jul 2015).
2 GOV.UK. Get involved in Accelerated Access Review – News stories – GOV.UK. 2015. (accessed 15 Jul 2015).

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