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Rapid Review Panel

Volume 488: debated on Wednesday 25 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the operational cost of the Rapid Review Panel was in the last 12 months; (257302)

(2) what the average time taken by the Rapid Review Panel to complete a review of a potential new product for use in the NHS is;

(3) what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Rapid Review Panel in reducing infectious diseases in NHS hospitals.

The operational costs of the Rapid Review Panel (RRP) for the last 12 months were £24,210.

The RRP meets quarterly and the deadline for applications is approximately four weeks prior to the meeting date. Once the panel has met the reports are published on the RRP’s website within two weeks. Thus, the time taken to review a product will vary according to when the application was made in relation to the meeting date but generally a product will be reviewed within three months.

It is not possible to directly link the RRP work to infection rates as their role is to identify whether or not products submitted to the RRP have the potential to help the national health service reduce infections. However, the panel has undertaken 235 assessments since its first meeting and eight products have demonstrated sufficient basic research and development, validation and recent in use evaluations to enable the RRP to make a recommendation that the product should be made available to NHS bodies. Of these eight products, seven have been made available to the NHS by the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency via the NHS Supply Chain and will be contributing to their programmes to reduce infections.