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The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has commissioned a report about access to medicines in the UK. The NHS has made progress towards making some of the most exciting new medicines and vaccines available to patients. However, the report shows that access to medicines in the UK remains poor, especially compared to other developed countries. Three areas need improvement:
- Breadth of access where UK patients have lower access to new medicines than patients in other countries. 43% of positive recommendations made by NICE between 2015-19 were for smaller population of patients than other regulators.
- Speed of access where the average waiting time to get a new medicine on the NHS is slower than other countries. NHS patients wait, on average, 335 days to get access to new, licensed medicines compared to 120 days in Germany.
- Extent and rate of uptake for most medicines was less than in other countries, even five years after they are available on the NHS. Use of medicines on the NHS five years after launch is typically 64% of other nations.