People living in the UK could get faster access, through the country’s National Health Service (NHS), to what are described as ‘innovative’ new treatments following recommendations set out this week in the government’s Accelerated Access Review report, led by an independent chairman Sir Hugh Taylor.. This could include treatments for MS.
The move does not include existing medications, but is restricted to new, potential treatments that aren’t available yet but have shown promising results.
It is hoped that this could include treatments for multiple sclerosis but, in truth, no-one seems to know yet
Under the new proposals, everyday people in patient representative groups will help choose which drugs should be included. They’ll work alongside health bodies and drug companies in a new partnership.
To choose treatments, together these groups will look at a range of criteria. This includes deciding which drugs are ‘transformative’ – meaning they have the potential to make the biggest impact.
Chosen treatments would then get greater support to make sure they are available sooner through the NHS.
It’s not yet clear whether or not future MS treatments will be chosen. It seems that is likely to depend on two things:
- whether there are future MS treatments in the pipeline that could make a big impact on people’s health;
- the final scope of any changes introduced after the Government has considered these proposals.
These proposals are groundbreaking for both the NHS and patients alike. At the moment, to get new NHS treatments approved involves research, licensing and analysis of cost and clinical effectiveness than can take several years.
The UK’s MS Society was actively involved in the government’s Accelerated Access Review, and mate its contribution to the consultation earlier this year.
It highlighted the important contribution that people with MS make to every stage of the research it funds and welcomes the fact that the final report recommending that people using NHS services should be involved in making decisions every step of the way.
The society’s Interim Assistant Director of Research Dr Emma Gray said: “We are pleased to see the integral part that people being treated in the NHS will play in these proposals. And we welcome a new pathway to speed up the access to transformative treatments.
“It’s currently unclear whether future MS treatments will benefit from this proposed pathway, but we will be following the progress of these recommendations.”d is a keen advocate on mobility and accessibility issues.
50shadesofsun.com is the personal website of Ian Franks, who is Managing Editor (columns division) of BioNews Services. BioNews is owner of 50 disease-specific news and information websites – including MS News Today. Ian has enjoyed a successful career as a journalist, from reporter to editor, in the print media. During that career he gained a Journalist of the Year award in his native UK. He was diagnosed with MS in 2002 but continued working until mobility problems forced him to retire early in late 2006. He now lives in the south of Spain. Besides MS, Ian is also able to write about both epilepsy and cardiovascular matters from a patient’s perspective and is a keen advocate on mobility and accessibility issues.