The UK will join the USA, Canada, Australia, Switzerland, Singapore and Brazil to speed up the approval of innovative medicines.
NHS patients could have quicker access to the next generation of cutting-edge treatments thanks to the UK teaming up with other countries to fast-track the approval process.
Now we have left the EU, the UK has complete autonomy to streamline the approval process for medicines, while maintaining the highest safety standards.
The UK will be joining two initiatives bringing together some of the world’s leading regulators to allow pharmaceutical companies to submit medicines to be reviewed by several countries at the same time, pooling resources and allowing patients to benefit from earlier access.
The two schemes are:
A programme coordinated by the US Food and Drug Administration involving Canada, Australia, Switzerland, Singapore and Brazil to review and approve promising cancer treatments. The scheme has already given the green light to many life-saving treatments for patients suffering from conditions such as breast cancer, lung cancer, liver cancer, endometrial cancer, and chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.
A programme involving Australia, Canada, Switzerland and Singapore to help secure improved patient access to high-quality, safe and effective medicines. The consortium has previously approved 9 innovative prescription medicines, including 5 new cancer treatments.
The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) will participate as an observer of both groups before the end of 2020 and will be a full participant as of 1 January 2021 after the EU transition period.
MHRA will have the authority to make the final decision to authorise medicines onto the UK market and will have complete autonomy to streamline the approval processes even further if needed outside of both schemes.
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said:
The aim of both groups will be to ensure that patient safety and scientific integrity is upheld to the highest possible standards, while removing red tape and working together to get medicines onto the market quicker.
Dr June Raine, MHRA Chief Executive, said:
Richard Pazdur, MD, Director, FDA Oncology Center of Excellence, said: