NICE to speed up access to drugs

Patients in England are to be given greater access to innovative drugs, under a fast-track scheme introduced by the Office for Life Sciences.

The scheme will see NICE introduce an Innovation Pass, a three-year initiative for selected medicines, which will be funded for use across the NHS without going through a NICE appraisal.

It is expected that most significant new medicines will continue to go through NICE's existing processes, but drugs for small patient populations will be introduced on the NHS under the Innovation Pass, which will be piloted from next year.

After the three years, the medicines would then be evaluated by NICE.

Funding for the medicines will not come from PCT budgets but from a new £25m ring-fenced DoH budget.

Office for Life Sciences Blueprint

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