Fast-track scheme for breakthrough drugs from April ’18

NHS England Announces Interim Policy on EAP for SMA Type 1The Government has announced a new plan to speed up the time it takes for new life-changing medicines to reach NHS patients. 

From April 2018 an expert panel will select around 5 new drugs or devices for fast-tracking, reducing the time taken by the NHS appraisal and approval processes. As part of the plans, the Government is also providing £86m to encourage take-up of new medical technologies, including £6m to support clinicians to use new treatments and technologies in everyday practice. 

Joanna  Mitchell, CEO, said ‘Although this is very welcome news, we are still awaiting clarification on how ‘breakthrough treatments’ will be defined, together with more detail on the role of NICE in this process.  We also want to make sure that rarer conditions such as spinal muscular atrophy are fairly represented in the selection of new drugs, particularly thinking of Spinraza at the moment.’


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