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Breakthrough medicines to bypass NICE approval

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Ministers have unveiled new plans aimed at giving the public better access to breakthrough medicines.

The scheme, known as the ‘innovation pass’, will make new medicines available to the public through the NHS for a limited period of time.

It will offer benefits for groups such as those in the late-stages of cancer, who could receive new treatment without having to face the lengthy appraisal process insisted on by NICE.

Health minister Lord Darzi, who has just announced his intention to resign, and science minister Lord Grayson unveiled the latest proposals as part of the Life Sciences Blueprint at the Imperial College London.

The Blueprint is intended to change the environment for life science companies to enable faster patient access to cutting-edge medicines and technologies.


Lord Grayson said it was important the life science industry becomes a real growth area in the country, adding: ‘It’s one of our leading industries so we’ve spent the last six months working with the industry across government to identify what the problems are and what the solutions need to be to turn the situation around.’


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