People suffering from serious illnesses including cancer and dementia will be able to try new medicines years before they reach the market, the Health Secretary has announced.
Jeremy Hunt published details of a "fast track" plan to get drugs into the NHS before they have even been granted a licence for use.
Paid for by the pharmaceutical industry, the scheme means experts will carry out a rapid assessment of a drug before labelling it a "promising innovative medicine" before the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency gives it the go-ahead.
Mr Hunt said: "This ground-breaking scheme will provide cutting edge medicines earlier, give hope to patients and their families and save lives. And as part of our strategy for life sciences it will create more jobs and opportunities for people, helping secure a better future for our country."
More top news
Nasa has begun its countdown for a mission to discover whether life might exist on Jupiter's moon Europa.
A mosaic of American film legend Clint Eastwood made from thousands of bullet cases has been created to mark his 85th birthday tomorrow.
Former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg is among 89 European Union politicians and other senior figures who have been banned from entering Russia.