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We applaud Accelerated Access, but more detail is needed

The Government’s response to Sir Hugh Taylor’s Accelerated Access Report of Innovative Medicines and Medical Technologies (AAR) is very encouraging.

We applaud its firm spending commitment to ‘speed up the time it takes for patients to benefit from ground-breaking products for conditions such as cancer, dementia and diabetes’ and the strategy to boost the support provided by the 15 Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) to improve adoption by the NHS of the right innovations and to tackle unwarranted variation in uptake.

We are also particularly encouraged by the extension of the innovation scorecard to track the uptake of innovative medical devices. The Medical Technology Group has been a consistent advocate of this approach, including in our recent report Innovation, Health and Wealth – A Scorecard. However, while such progress and commitment is welcome, we believe more details are still required.

For instance, the creation of an Accelerated Access Pathway (AAP) will help facilitate quicker regulatory and market access decisions. However, at present the AAP only allows for five products per year, a relatively small number which is unlikely to have a transformative effect on healthcare delivery.

Further detail is needed on how this tariff and the assessment will work in practice.

We would also like to see a rapid expansion in the number of products going through the AAP, so that these initiatives make an impact on more patients with a broader range of conditions.

Additionally, there was a notable absence of mandatory funding for all NICE guidance from the Government’s response. Greater commitment here would provide reassurance to industry and certainty to patients.

The Government’s commitments to accelerate patient access to the best technologies, reflect our own view that patients deserve better access to new, proven medical technology. We sincerely hope that these measures will deliver on that promise. We also hope that further detail and commitment will be forthcoming.

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