BioIndustry Association Welcomes Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency Early Access to Medicines Scheme Consultation

Published: Jul 17, 2012

17 July 2012 -- The BIA welcomes today's publication by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) of its consultation on proposals to launch an Early Access to Medicines Scheme in the UK.

The proposed Early Access to Medicines Scheme was announced by the Prime Minister David Cameron as a key commitment within the Strategy for UK Life Sciences launched in December 2011.

Steve Bates, BIA Chief Executive Officer, said:

"We are pleased to see the launch of this consultation by the MHRA on a UK Early Access to Medicines Scheme. The BIA membership has highlighted this proposal as a key action from the Strategy for UK Life Sciences to improve the environment for medical research in the UK and patient access to innovative new treatments.

"This is a step towards facilitating the availability of promising medicines to patients at an earlier stage in their development lifecycle. However, the proposal to limit the scheme to only one or two medicines a year, targeted at the end of phase III trials, does not, in the BIA's view, meet the ambition the UK government set out in its Strategy for UK Life Sciences. This included an option to fully discuss the review of innovative medicines at an earlier stage of development, where supported by suitable data.

"We look forward to discussing the proposed scheme with our member companies and all relevant stakeholders including research charities, patient groups, the MHRA and government to identify the best way forward for patients and the innovative UK bioscience sector."

For further information, please contact Robert Winder, Head of Communications,, 020 7630 2191; mobile 07825 942 934.

BioIndustry Association

Founded over 20 years ago at the infancy of biotechnology, the BioIndustry Association (BIA) is the trade association for innovative enterprises involved in UK bioscience. Members include emerging and more established bioscience companies; pharmaceutical companies; academic, research and philanthropic organisations; and service providers to the bioscience sector. The BIA represents the interests of its members to a broad section of stakeholders, from government and regulators to patient groups and the media. Our goal is to secure the UK's position as a global hub and as the best location for innovative research and commercialisation, enabling our world-leading research base to deliver healthcare solutions that can truly make a difference to people's lives. For further information, please go to

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