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Government launches scheme to deliver five “breakthrough technologies” a year

BMJ 2017; 359 doi: (Published 09 November 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;359:j5219
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. London

Is the promise of faster access to transformative medicine a good deal for patients or an inducement to keep drug companies in the UK? Nigel Hawkes reports

The government has promised NHS patients faster access to new drugs or technologies at no additional cost and without compromising safety.1

The Accelerated Access Review follows almost 20 reports and reviews of innovation in the NHS over the past decade. Its aims have been generally welcomed despite doubts that all or any of them can be achieved, never mind all three at once.

Barbara Harpham, chair of the Medical Technology Group, which works to improve access to technology, said she sincerely hoped that the measures would deliver. But she said that mandatory funding had not been promised for all guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), adding that the aim of fast tracking just five new drugs or devices a year was not ambitious enough.

Roy …

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