Uptake of two Rapid Uptake Products (RUP) led by the AHSN Network have significantly increased month-on-month since the programmes began, benefiting thousands of patients across England. While the programmes five other RUPs are on track to reach their annual trajectories.

Commissioned by the Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC) and led by the AHSN Network, the RUP programme has been designed to support stronger adoption and spread of proven innovations. It identifies and supports products with National Institute for Care and Excellence (NICE) approval that support the NHS Long Term Plan’s key clinical priorities, but have lower than expected uptake to date.

Cladribine is an innovative treatment for adults with highly active relapsing remitting Multiple Sclerosis (MS), a condition that can affect the brain and spinal cord, leading to a range of symptoms, including problems with vision, limb movement, sensation, balance and cognition. The condition most frequently begins with relapsing neurological symptoms though can also lead to progressive and more persistent disability in some people.

In some cases, this lifelong condition can cause serious disability. The number of people living with MS is expected to increase by 2.4% every year. Around 110,000 people are living with MS in the UK.

Since the Cladribine RUP programme began in April 2020, over 1,400 patients have been benefitting from the treatment across England. The programme has achieved 116% of annual trajectory.

NHS England recently confirmed a change in prescribing requirements for Cladribine tablets that will make the treatment more accessible to patients across England, which UCLPartners are leading on behalf of the Network.

PCSK9 (sometimes also shown as PCSK9i) are for the treatment of very high cholesterol. It’s estimated that 43% of adults in England have cholesterol levels above national guidelines[1].

PCSK9 is a protein that’s made in the liver. Research has shown that people with high levels of PCSK9 tend to have high cholesterol throughout their lives and develop heart disease early, whilst people with low levels tend to have low cholesterol and a lower risk of heart disease.

PCSK9 inhibitors are used to lower cholesterol together with a statin-type cholesterol-lowering medicine, or for patients who are unable to take or tolerate a statin.

Since the PCSK9 RUP programme began in April 2020, over 7,000 patients have been benefitting from the treatment. The programme has achieved 101% of its annual trajectory.

Jenny Turton, Deputy Director Innovation, AAC said: “The spread and adoption of the Cladribine and PCSK9 RUP programmes is a staggering achievement in the circumstances we have faced. During the COVID-19 pandemic health services have had to adapt to social distancing and increased demand.

“The amazing commitment, energy and hard work from all involved has helped us achieve this position.”

The AHSN Network supports several RUP products, supporting patients with severe asthma, suspected coronary artery disease, woman at risk of developing breast cancer and diagnosis of pre-eclampsia.

[1] British Heart Foundation analysis of Health Survey for England 2019 (NHS Digital)