The AAC: a new national unit to oversee innovation and medicines

A ‘new and improved’ Accelerated Access Collaborative will become the new umbrella organisation for UK health innovation, providing more joined-up support for innovators and setting the strategy for innovation in the health system.

The new AAC will be established in the form of a new unit that sits in NHS England and NHS Improvement, led by Dr Sam Roberts as chief executive. It will act as the new ‘front door’ for innovators looking to secure rapid access for their products to the NHS and ensure patients access the best new treatments faster.

The AAC was set up in 2018 to provide a streamlined process through clinical development and regulatory approval for selected medicines, devices, diagnostic tools and digital services.

Twelve ‘rapid uptake’ products have already been selected, and includes a range of treatments and diagnostic tests from a novel system for treating benign prostatic hyperplasia to a new drug for treating relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis in adults and diagnostic tests to detect suspected pre-eclampsia.

Commenting on the Department of Health and Social Care announcement, Lord Prior, chair of NHS England, said making the NHS the most innovative health care system in the world with easier access and much quicker uptake of new and innovative products “is a top priority for the NHS”.

To find out more on the expanded role of the AAC, head over to our sister blog, life science law.

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