The Health News United Kingdom November 26 2017

  • New research suggests that e-consultations with general practitioners end up with four in ten patients going to the doctor anyway.  Health officials have launched a forty five million pound national drive to encourage online GP consultations, in a bid to improve access to doctors amid lengthening waiting times. But the study of thirty six GP practices offering consultations by email found extremely low take up.
  • Thousands of women with previously untreatable breast cancer have been given new hope after health officials approved two new “breakthrough” drugs for NHS use. In new draft guidance, NICE has approved palbociclib and ribociclib for widespread use in the health service in England. The drugs have been shown to slow down advanced cancer for at least ten months and can delay the need for chemotherapy – giving women the chance to live a normal life for longer.
  • Patients to get breakthrough technologies and treatments up to 4 years earlier through new accelerated access scheme. The government has announced a new fast-track route into the NHS for “breakthrough” medicines and technologies. This will speed up the time it takes for patients to benefit from ground-breaking products for conditions such as cancer, dementia and diabetes. From April 2018, the new ‘accelerated access pathway’ will mean products with the greatest potential to change lives could be available up to 4 years earlier.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 26th of November 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/11/23/e-consultations-gps-end-four-ten-going-see-doctor/

New research suggests that e-consultations with general practitioners end up with four in ten patients going to the doctor anyway.  Health officials have launched a forty five million pound national drive to encourage online GP consultations, in a bid to improve access to doctors amid lengthening waiting times. But the study of thirty six GP practices offering consultations by email found extremely low take up. The University of Bristol study found that two thirds of those who attempted to get advice via email ended up either seeing a GP, or having to speak to them on the phone anyway.  In total, thirty three per cent of such patients had to have a face-to-face consultation afterwards, while a further thirty two per cent had to speak to their GP on the phone.

They were most commonly used for simple requests such as repeat prescriptions and sick notes. Health officials have raised hopes that such systems could improve access to GPs.

The number of family doctors has fallen by one thousand two hundred in the last year, despite Government pledges to boost numbers by five thousand. And the average wait to see a GP is now thirteen days – up from ten days in two thousand fifteen. Ministers have also promised to improve access to doctors in evenings and weekends, with all patients able to see a GP between eight am and eight pm seven days a week by two thousand twenty. But the research found that those turning to online consultations were most likely to do them during regular doctors hours, with just twelve per cent taking place at weekends.

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/breast-cancer-drugs-nhs-nice-approval-palbociclib-ribociclib-healthcare-a8057816.html

Thousands of women with previously untreatable breast cancer have been given new hope after health officials approved two new “breakthrough” drugs for NHS use. In new draft guidance, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) has approved palbociclib and ribociclib for widespread use in the health service in England. The drugs have been shown to slow down advanced cancer for at least ten months and can delay the need for chemotherapy – giving women the chance to live a normal life for longer. The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), London said that the two drugs work in a similar way and are a brand new class of cancer treatment. The new agreement from Nice comes after it negotiated price deals for the medication. It had previously rejected palbociclib because its cost was too high in relation to its clinical effectiveness.

Both drugs are given once daily and need to be used in combination with an aromatase inhibitor.

It is estimated that around eight thousand people in England would be eligible for treatment with either palbociclib or ribociclib each year. Professor Carole Longson, director of the centre for health technology evaluation at Nice, said: “The committee heard from the patient experts that delaying the progression of their cancer for as long as possible and being able to continue with normal activities, including working, is valued very highly by patients and their families.

Trial lead Nicholas Turner, professor of molecular oncology at the ICR and consultant medical oncologist at the Royal Marsden, said: “The development of this brand new class of cancer drug is one of the most important breakthroughs for women with advanced breast cancer in the last two decades.” There are around forty five thousand  new diagnoses of breast cancer each year in England. The drugs will be offered to people with hormone receptor positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor two  (HER two) negative locally advanced breast cancer, who have previously not received any treatment options.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/accelerated-access-scheme-means-patients-will-get-new-treatments-faster

Patients to get breakthrough technologies and treatments up to four years earlier through a new accelerated access scheme. The government has announced a new fast-track route into the NHS for “breakthrough” medicines and technologies. This will speed up the time it takes for patients to benefit from ground-breaking products for conditions such as cancer, dementia and diabetes. From April two thousand eighteen, the new ‘accelerated access pathway’ will mean products with the greatest potential to change lives could be available up to four years earlier. It will be done  by reducing the time it takes to negotiate evaluation and financial approvals before the NHS can purchase the products. Under the scheme, a number of products each year will receive ‘breakthrough’ designation. This will unlock a package of support allowing firms to accelerate clinical development and gain a fast-track route through the NHS’s approval processes.

Today’s new measures will not only benefit patients by improving how quickly and easily we can get innovative products from the lab to the bedside, but will guarantee future collaboration between the life sciences sector and the NHS post-Brexit – benefiting the British economy and creating jobs. Sir Andrew Witty, former chief executive of GlaxoSmithKline, will lead the Accelerated Access Collaborative, to highlight which products should be granted access to the pathway. The collaborative will draw on advice from patients, clinicians and industry.

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