We have welcomed the government announcement today on plans to allow patients who urgently need treatment to gain access to drugs before they are licensed.
The Prime Minister revealed details of a consultation on an early access scheme which would allow seriously ill patients the right to use cutting edge medicines.
We believe the scheme could be a huge benefit to lung cancer patients – many of whom are diagnosed too late for traditional treatments, such as surgery.
This plan should make new drugs and technologies available more quickly than ever before, in areas where new treatments are urgently needed.
It is particularly good news for lung cancer patients as treatment options are often extremely limited, compared with other common cancers. Because of the nature of the disease, time is also very much of the essence.
This announcement should allow lung cancer patients in England, to access new and promising drugs early, in advance of them going through the licencing process.”
Through the ‘early access scheme’, the medicines regulator, the MHRA, will give an opinion on the risks and benefits of very promising new drugs to treat patients with life threatening or debilitating conditions for whom there are no satisfactory treatment options. The MHRA will consider the safety quality and efficacy of the new drug and will make a recommendation on the appropriateness of these drugs being prescribed before they are fully licensed
This means seriously ill patients – patients of any age who have no other hope of being treated or having their life extended – could benefit from drugs more quickly – around a year before they are licensed
Clinicians and patients will be given detailed information so they can make an informed choice. This means that exciting new developments could be given to patients in the UK before anywhere else in the world.