The Accelerated Access Review of Innovative Medicines and Medical Technologies (AAR) is a UK health initiative, commissioned by the government in 2014 and developed in partnership with The Wellcome Trust. The review was proposed to help the UK become the fastest country in the world when it comes to the design, development and widespread adoption of medical innovation, as well as to stimulate investment, create new jobs and spur economic growth to support the National Health Services (NHS).
The review has been building momentum in the last year or so. In October of 2015, a document detailing the barriers to uptake of innovation in the NHS was released, followed by an interim report in early 2016. And, earlier this week, on the 24th of October, The Accelerated Access Review: final report was published.
The report claims that streamlined processes could allow patients to access innovative new drugs and medical technologies up to four years earlier, which will help the NHS provide the best quality of care to patients, use funds more effectively, and create conditions to further develop the country’s life sciences industry.
To build towards these streamlined processes, the review recommends creating a new accelerated access partnership which will include NHS England, NHS Improvement, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). These groups will work together to simplify, and thereby speed up, the process for getting innovative treatments and diagnostics safely from clinical development to the patients who need them.
The review also suggests the creation of a new strategic commercial unit within NHS England. The unit will work to foster flexible arrangements with innovators by creating win-win scenarios whereby innovators benefit from earlier access to the NHS market, and, in return, offer better value to the NHS and its patients.
Furthermore, the review stresses the importance of valuing the needs and experiences of patients. The review recommends giving patients more of a say in determining what innovations are developed and how, so that it is patients, rather than market forces, that shape priorities for drug developments and treatment techniques.
Now that the review has been published, the next step will be for the UK government to consider the proposals and evaluate how to implement them.