Patients To Be Given Faster Access To Drugs

The Government Has Launched A Review Into New Drug Delivery Times

21.11.2014

NHS patients are to be given improved access to new drugs in the future, the government has announced.

The Department of Health is looking at putting measures in place to ensure the speed at which individuals can benefit from newly-developed drugs increases - something it has launched an official review to address.

It wants to see a radical overhaul introduced to the way new medicines are tested and cleared for approval, as it believes the current system is no longer as effective as it used to be.

However, recent developments in technology have the capability to significantly speed up these processes, meaning patients will no longer have to miss out on potentially life-saving medication due to outdated procedures.

Officials from the Department of Health explained that the review will explore how such technology could help to deliver new drugs from the lab to the patient in the fastest and safest way possible.

Speaking to the Times, life sciences minister George Freeman commented: "This will transform the landscape of drug development from the 20th century model to a [21st century] model, in which the NHS becomes a partner in innovative testing, proving and adopting new drugs and devices in research studies with real patients.

"For too long, NHS patients have seen drugs and innovations developed in the UK, but not adopted here in our NHS."

The review will also look at how a greater collaborative approach between pharmaceutical companies and regulatory bodies could be established to further improve the delivery of new drugs to patients.

In addition, it will explore how charities and patient associations could get involved in the matter, thereby allowing end users to have a greater say in the effectiveness of the system.

Expert Opinion
This review into the way newly-developed drugs are made available to the public is crucial, as we have seen a number of instances where the slow rollout of medication has impacted patients negatively. Patient care should always be a top priority, which means ensuring they have access to the best possible treatments and medications.

“We hope that this review will investigate the way new drugs are distributed to the public and improve collaboration between the NHS, regulators and pharmaceutical companies to ensure the public can access the very latest medications.”
Mandy Luckman, Partner