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Fast-track route for medicines and technology announced

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New fast-track route could shave years off the time it takes for people with Parkinson's to benefit from new and better treatments.

The government has announced a new fast-track route through the NHS approval process for 'breakthrough' medicines and technologies. It could shave years off the time it takes for people to benefit from new and better treatments in many conditions including Parkinson's.

From April 2018, the new 'accelerated access pathway' will mean products with the greatest potential to change lives could be available up to 4 years earlier.

What is the accelerated access pathway?

The pathway aims to reduce the time it takes for people to access key new medicines and technologies. It will do this by reducing the time it takes to negotiate evaluation and financial approvals before the NHS can purchase the products.

Under the scheme, a number of products each year will receive 'breakthrough' designation. This will help to accelerate clinical development and open up a fast-track route through the NHS’s approval processes.

As well as improving how quickly and easily innovative products make the journey from the lab to the bedside, the pathway will help ensure future collaboration between the life sciences sector and the NHS post-Brexit. Plus, the government is also providing an £86million package to help innovators of all sizes gain access to the NHS market, to get their products to patients.

This hugely important development is the result of the accelerated access review. This initiative - for which Parkinson's UK provided evidence - sets out how people could get quicker access to innovative new diagnostic tools, treatments, and medical technologies.

Driving improvements

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

"Our researchers are working hard to deliver new and better treatments faster. But without processes to ensure these new treatments can be accessed, there can still be huge delays to these developments improving people's lives. This is understandably a key concern for people affected by Parkinson's.

"We are pleased that the government is supporting ways to get new technologies and medicines to the people who desperately need them. However, we are concerned that these new treatments will have to be cost neutral for the NHS or offset by other treatments where savings can be made.

"We will continue to share the experiences of people affected by Parkinson's with the government to drive improvements to the management and care of the condition."

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