Cancer drugs taking longer to reach NHS patients

A new report by the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) has found that patients are waiting longer for new cancer drugs to be approved for use with the NHS because of delays in clinical trials and regulatory approval for use.

The report found that the average time taken from the start of phase I clinical trials to European Medicines Agency (EMA) authorisation (licensing) increased by over a year from 7.8 years in 2000-08 to 9.1 years in 2009-16. This is despite the new National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) technology appraisal process, which was rolled-out in April 2018 to expedite access to innovative new drugs by starting appraisals earlier.

Although there have been rapid advances in cancer research, which have driven a big increase in the development of new treatments, efforts to speed up patient access to these treatments are not working.

The report also highlights differences in the development of drugs for different cancers; for example, there were 15 drugs licensed for breast cancer from 2000-16, but none at all for brain cancer.

Read the full report here: From patent to patient – analysing access to innovative cancer drugs

Read the article from The Institute of Cancer Research here

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