The long awaited final report of the Accelerated Access Review (AAR) has been delayed, with no good reason given.
Originally due to be published in the summer, it was delayed because of the EU Referendum, which greatly affected its content, and the changes in Ministers. Lord Prior, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department of Health, was given responsibility for the AAR and on 8 September told the House of Lords that it would be published by the end of the month. A firm statement like this to Parliament is usually final.
The Department is currently unwilling to explain the reasons for the delay or when it will be published. Some have speculated that there is a dispute between Ministers about the wording in the AAR on the adverse effects on the science sector of the UK leaving the EU and the steps the Government will take to counter this. Certainly the issue cuts across a number of departments – the Departments of Health and of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Department for Exiting the European Union, the Department for International Trade (which has a life sciences remit) and the Treasury.
Once the Conservative Party Conference is out of the way, Ministers will need to settle the issue.
Once a new date is given, MAP BioPharma will report it and will analyse the final AAR when it is published.