New chair appointed to improve patient access to innovation in the NHS

Lord Ara Darzi has been appointed as chair of the Accelerated Access Collaborative, a joint government–industry group to speed up patient access to ground-breaking technologies and treatments

The Accelerated Access Collaborative brings together leaders from the NHS, industry and government to identify the most transformative medical innovations, and will oversee a fast-track route to allow these innovative technologies to be available on the NHS up to 4 years earlier.

Under this Accelerated Access Pathway, launching later this year, a number of the most promising products will be accelerated through the clinical development and NHS approval processes to treat conditions such as cancer, diabetes and dementia.

The project builds on an £86 million funding package to help innovators of all sizes gain access to the NHS market and get their products to patients.

Lord Darzi is a former minister at the Department of Health and Social Care, chair of Imperial College Health Partners, and chairman and director of the Institute of Global Health Innovation.

The previous chair, Sir Andrew Witty, resigned in March to avoid any conflicts of interest after he took on a new role as CEO of Optum.

Health Minister Lord O’Shaughnessy said:

"I want the UK to be at the forefront of breakthrough treatments and medical innovations – but often it can take too long for products to get from the bench to the bedside.

"The Accelerated Access Pathway will speed up this process so patients can benefit from the best technologies far quicker – and I’m delighted to appoint Lord Darzi as the chair to oversee this important work."

Lord Darzi, Chair of the Accelerated Access Collaborative, said:

"Britain is world leading in medical science and research, but we need to make sure that people in the UK are able to reap the benefits of this innovation. It is vitally important that patients have rapid access to cost-effective, transformative treatments on the NHS. Doing so will not only improve the health of our patients, but will promote future collaboration between the life sciences sector and the NHS post-Brexit – benefiting the British economy and creating jobs.

"I’m thrilled to be building on the great foundations laid by Sir Andrew Witty for the AAC to deliver this."


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