expanded access (EAP)

expanded access programme (EAP) – a scheme that allows people to access a drug before it has been approved (but when approval is expected).

EAPs are for people urgently need treatment as a life-saving option and who do o have the time to wait for the six months that it takes for approval to be finalised. EAPs are usually available for most HIV drugs after the main studies (phase 3) have been completed.

They were an important early result of community activism. They are also called ‘early access’ or ‘named-patient’ programmes.