UK makes new recommendations to accelerate patient access to healthcare


The UK Department of Health has made recommendations to improve patient’s access to better healthcare and medical technologies.

The recommendations were made under the Accelerated Access Review (AAR) launched by the former Minister for Life Sciences George Freeman in 2014 and independently chaired by Sir Hugh Taylor.

Sir Hugh Taylor said: “This ambitious plan will prepare the health system for an exciting era in medical innovation.

“We have listened to the views of the NHS, patients, clinicians, the life sciences industries and academia and it is clear we need to act now to make the most of the tidal wave of new drugs and technologies that are being developed.”

Developed in partnership with the Wellcome Trust, the review recommends creating partnership to accelerate and simplify access to new treatments and diagnostics safely from pre-clinical development to patients.

The partnership will involve NHS England, NHS Improvement, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Through the new partnership, innovators will be provided an access to joined-up help for clinical development, regulation, and assessment of cost effectiveness.

Patient’s access to drugs is projected to be brought forward by four years by adopting a scientific opinion from the early access to medicines scheme, avoiding delay at the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) appraisal stage and during NHS commissioning and adoption.

The review also recommends adopting simpler digital technologies developed by smaller companies to manage long-term conditions.

It also suggests the creation of a new strategic commercial unit within NHS England to negotiate with innovators responsible for creating transformative new products.

Health Minister Lord Prior said: “The report provides us with a strong basis to make the right decisions about how the health system can be adapted to meet the challenges of the future, attract inward investment, grow the thriving life science industry and use innovation to improve patient outcomes and tackle the financial pressures on the NHS.”