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National brain tumour research funding needs to increase to £30-35 million a year

Speeding up access to breakthrough drugs

Speeding up access to breakthrough drugs

Today the Government responded to the Accelerated Access Review (AAR) which was first announced in 2014 to make independent recommendations into improving patients’ access to innovative medicines and medical technologies.

With an ambition of NHS patients being among the first in the world to get life-changing treatments, there has been a focus on speeding up the time it takes for getting the most promising new treatments from the lab bench to patients’ bedsides.

One key recommendation of today’s response is the introduction of an Accelerated Access Pathway (AAP). What this means in practice is a streamlined route for pharmaceutical and technology providers to access the NHS with innovative drugs and therapies. A cost-effective and fast-tracked process is essential for developing treatments for rare and previously unmet needs, such as brain tumours.

The new pathway will be independently-chaired by Sir Andrew Witty, former chief executive of GlaxoSmithKline, reporting to Ministers, with £86m initially invested in speeding up access to new technologies. It is hoped that 5 new products, or repurposed drugs, a year will receive breakthrough product status and be made available to NHS patients.

This new route to market will complement other routes including NICE and the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF). The aim is to bring forward by up to four years patient access to these products through the Accelerated Access Pathway.

With less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour surviving beyond five years, our unmet need is an urgent one and for this new pathway to be effective for our community, viable drugs and therapies must first be developed and proven to work through clinical trials.

Brain Tumour Research will continue to monitor the implementation of this new pathway, highlighting any opportunities, lost or gained for brain tumour patients. In the meantime, we will continue to champion greater action on the unmet needs of our community through the Department of Health’s Task and Finish Working Group on brain tumour research.

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