Boost to fast-track access to new medicines and technology through the NHS

The government initiative to fast-track access to new treatments and services is being expanded, potentially shaving years of the time it takes for people with Parkinson's to benefit from innovations in research.

The government has announced an expansion to the accelerated access pathway – a scheme that fast-tracks 'breakthrough' medicines and technologies through the NHS approval process.

In April 2018, the accelerated access pathway was launched, bringing together industry, government and the NHS to remove the barriers preventing people from quickly accessing key new medicines, diagnostic tools and technologies. The pathway was the result of the accelerated access review, for which Parkinson's UK provided evidence.

What changes have been made?

The Department of Health and Social Care have announced that they have expanded the remit so that more innovative medicines and technologies can make use of the accelerated access pathway.

The scheme will now support innovation at all stages across the development pipeline so that innovative products make the journey from the lab to the bedside as quickly and easily as possible. The ultimate aim is to make the NHS the most pro-innovation health system in the world.

The new priorities of the scheme include: 

  • identifying the best new innovations at the beginning of their development journey, making sure the NHS is ready to make use of them
  • focusing on the needs of patients and clinicians to better focus research and innovation
  • supporting the NHS in adopting innovations, to ensure those who could benefit get access faster than ever before


Laura Cockram, Head of Policy and Campaigning at Parkinson's UK, comments:

"We are encouraged that the government’s latest announcement around improvements to the accelerated access pathway will put the needs of patients and clinicians at the heart of bringing future innovations to the NHS faster.

"It's crucial that innovators, the NHS and researchers work collaboratively with patient organisations to identify the problems and solutions technology can solve. Our apps, gadgets and devices panel is already using the experience of people with Parkinson's to test technology that can improve the lives of people with the condition.

"People with Parkinson's deserve treatments and innovations that can help them to live better with this debilitating condition. So we urge the government to ensure that the Parkinson's community are fully involved in the development and any future tech solutions developed through the accelerated access pathway."

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