Science groups praise treatments,231
A Government scheme launched last year to speed up patient access to cutting-edge medical advances is already producing positive benefits, industry chiefs said.

The Office of Life Sciences blueprint set out to help pharmaceutical and biotech companies thrive in the UK and turn their research into tangible treatments.
A progress report on the initiative was published entitled Life Sciences 2010: Delivering the Blueprint.
Four industry bodies - the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), the Association of British Healthcare Industries (ABHI), the BioIndustry Association (BIA) and the British In-Vitro Diagnostics Association (BIVDA) - issued a joint statement praising the "strong progress" that had been made.
Key measures in the blueprint included embedding clinical trials into "core NHS activity", an initiative called "Patent Box" designed to retain British discoveries for UK development and manufacturing, addressing skill gaps through the Industry Higher Education Forum, and "Super Cluster" which fosters collaboration between academia, the NHS and industry.
Another initiative welcomed by the industry was the "Innovation Pass" which allows patients with rare diseases access to new drugs not yet assessed for cost effectiveness.
Richard Baker, director general of the ABPI, said: "Work to implement and extend this strategy must be a high priority for both government and industry in the coming years, to maintain the UK's leadership role and the flow of life-changing, innovative therapies for patients."

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