The BioIndustry Association has published new data which reveals that the majority of health care professionals are not aware of the Accelerated Access Review or previous government-led initiatives aimed at improving the adoption of innovation across the NHS.
Responding to a House of Lords inquiry on life sciences and the industrial strategy, a poll of NHS staff, commissioned by the BIA in March 2017, reveals that:
- Only 11% of health care professionals are aware of the Accelerated Access Review, a government commissioned report which makes recommendations for speeding up patient access to innovative treatments.
- Many of the report’s recommendations build upon initiatives introduced by a previous government report, Innovation Health and Wealth: Accelerating adoption and diffusion in the NHS. These initiatives include Academic Health Science Networks, the Innovation Scorecard and NHS Test Beds. However, when asked about these initiatives, almost half (46%) of those surveyed said they were not aware of any of them.
- The data also shows that only 20% of NHS staff are aware of the Early Access to Medicines Scheme, which was introduced in the 2011 Life Sciences Strategy. The scheme gives patients with life threatening or seriously debilitating conditions early access to medicines when there is a clear unmet medical need.
In the lead up to the snap general election earlier this year, the BIA published Now More Than Ever: Seizing the opportunity to make the UK a world leader in the life sciences, calling on the political parties to commit to implementing the recommendations of the Accelerated Access Review in their manifestos. The report finds that despite the efforts of successive governments to support the UK life science sector and encourage uptake of innovation, policies have not been fully implemented or led to lasting change.
Commenting on the data, the BIA's CEO Steve Bates said: “The UK has been great at talking the talk on driving innovation into the NHS but now is the time to walk the walk. This data highlights what many of us in the life sciences sector have long suspected – that great policy is meaningless without effective implementation.
"The forthcoming response to the Accelerated Access Review is a great opportunity for government, hot on the heels of the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy and in the context of the UK leaving the EU, to set out its stall on how it will work to drive innovation into the heart of our healthcare system.”