Quick Hits: “Breakthrough” Cancer Drugs Take Too Long to Reach NHS

A new study found that “breakthrough” cancer drugs take 22 years to reach patients on the National Health Service.

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SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY RF

A recent article from The Telegraph discussed the time it takes for “breakthrough” cancer treatments to reach a patient on the NHS. A new study conducted by the Institute of Cancer Research looked at all cancer drugs licensed by European watchdogs over a 16-year period and found that they take longer to approve than conventional drugs. Between 2009 and 2016, it took an average of 14 years for treatments to go from patent filing to availability on the NHS. 

The leader of the study and Chief Executive of The Institute of Cancer Research, London, said, “It is taking longer for new drugs to reach patients and, alarmingly, the delays are longest for the most exciting, innovative treatments, with the greatest potential to transform the lives of patients.” 

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