An image of brightly coloured medication pills

Quicker access to some drugs proposed by new report

People could get faster access to ‘innovative’ new treatments through the NHS following recommendations set out this week. This could include treatments for MS.

Here’s what people with MS need to know about the Government’s Accelerated Access Review report, led by an independent chair.

Which treatments will this cover?

This covers new, potential treatments that aren’t available yet but have shown promising results.

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.

Will this improve access to MS drugs?

It’s not yet clear. Whether future MS treatments will be chosen will depend on two things:

  1. whether there are future MS treatments in the pipeline that could make a big impact on people’s health
  2. the final scope of any changes introduced after the Government has considered these proposals.

How is this different?

To get new NHS treatments approved at the moment, research, licensing and analysis of cost and clinical effectiveness can take several years.

Under the proposals in this report, the NHS could speed up the process at every stage for those drugs chosen.

How was the MS Society involved?

We’ve been actively involved in the Government’s Accelerated Access Review, and fed into the consultation earlier this year.

We highlighted the important contribution that people with MS make to every stage of the research we fund.

So it’s great to see the final report recommending that people using NHS services should be involved in making decisions every step of the way.

Welcome proposals

Dr Emma Gray, Interim Assistant Director of Research at the MS Society, 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."

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