New UK Medicines Bill could improve access to new dementia treatments

pharmafile | October 15, 2019 | News story | Manufacturing and Production  

The Government has announced new legislation aimed at providing faster access to medicines, including those treating dementia and Alzheimer’s.

The Medicines and Medical Devices Bill, announced in the Queen’s Speech on 14 October, would see measures designed to improve treatments and give patients access to innovative new medicines.

The Government has stated it will also build on September’s Health Infrastructure Plan to build 40 new hospitals, with a £33.9 billion a year increase in NHS spending by 2023-2024.

They will also set up the “world’s first independent body to investigate patient safety concerns” and put forward a medicines and medical Devices Bill to “make it simpler for NHS hospital to manufacture and trial the most innovative medicines and diagnostic devices.”

Additionally there were also commitments to do more for adult social care and mental health reform, but no concrete legislation on the issue.

Alzheimer’s Research UK welcomed the legislation, which could mean faster access to new treatments for dementia.

Hilary Evans, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “We would welcome legislation that could ensure future treatments for dementia could be made available to people without delay.

“The sheer number of people with dementia means that new treatments could pose significant practical and financial challenges to the health system, and it will be important for any new Bill to address these.”

Alzheimer’s Research UK is currently working with government, health bodies and the pharmaceutical industry through the Dementia Access Taskforce, to find solutions for these challenges.

Evans added: ““It will be vital for this work to inform future policy to improve how new medicines reach the people who need them.

“We must also increase investment in dementia research if we are to expand the number of treatments being tested and give them the best chance of success. In just two years, one million people will be living with dementia in the UK, and the cost of dementia care will continue rising unless we find new ways to treat and prevent the condition.

“Investing just 1% of the annual cost of dementia into research could make the difference and help bring about treatments that could change lives.”

Nik Kiran

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