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Concerns about Cancer Treatments

News

Acording to an article on the BBC website, twentyfive different cancer treatments will no longer be funded by the NHS in England. It announced the step after it emerged the £280m Cancer Drugs Fund - for drugs not routinely available - was to go £100m over budget in 2014/15.

Some drugs will be removed and others restricted - a move observers say could leave some without crucial treatments.

A national panel – comprising oncologists, pharmacists and patient representatives -independently reviewed the drug indications currently available through the CDF, plus new applications.

The result of the review is that 59 of the 84 most effective currently approved indications (clinical ‘uses’) of drugs will rollover into the CDF next year, creating headroom for new drug indications that will be funded for the first time.

Professor Peter Clark, Chair of the CDF and a practising oncologist, said: “We have been through a robust, evidence-based process to ensure the drugs available offer the best clinical benefit, getting the most for patients from every pound.

“There were drugs that did not offer sufficient clinical benefit so we simply cannot go on funding those. There were others that offered some benefit but were costly and I am pleased that a number of pharmaceutical firms worked with us to make prices more affordable, saving millions of pounds that can now be reinvested in other treatments.”

Some observers are extremely disappointed with the NHSE CDF delisting decision.

Stephen Whitehead, ABPI CEO, said “NHS England’s decision to delist 16 cancer medicines with 25 separate clinical uses is extremely disappointing and a significant blow to the health and wellbeing of future NHS patients. These medicines have been proven to be effective through clinical trials and have already provided benefit to thousands of NHS patients through their prior availability on the Cancer Drugs Fund.”