People with conditions such as dementia will be offered the lifeline of trying ground-breaking new medicines years before they would normally reach them, thanks to the Early Access to Medicines Scheme.
The Early Access to Medicines scheme will see doctors working with patients to make innovative and promising drugs available as soon the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency – the UK’s regulator – has signalled that the benefits outweigh the risks following an initial scientific assessment.
The scheme is an important addition to the pharmaceutical sector, providing a platform for drugs to be brought to patients at a much faster rate than ever before. The companies will be able to gain experience of their medicines being used in the NHS and work closely with regulators to look at the value of the drugs, gaining guidance and advice much earlier in the regulatory process.
The pioneering Early Access to Medicines scheme will be funded by pharmaceutical companies which develop innovative treatments, meaning patients will benefit from world-class breakthroughs at no cost to the NHS.
Once drug manufacturers have received a scientific opinion from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, doctors will work with patients to prescribe the drugs when appropriate.
In return, the companies will be able to gain experience of their medicines being used in the NHS and work closely with regulators to look at the value of the drugs, gaining guidance and advice much earlier in the regulatory process.
As a result, the process of patient access will be speeded up and new drugs could be made available to patients months or sometimes years before the treatment is licensed.
Find out more on the Department of Health website https://www.gov.uk/government/news/cutting-edge-drugs-to-be-fast-tracked-to-patients