NHS England and NICE to reform the way cancer drugs are funded

The Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) was initiated in 2010 to help improve patients’ access to treatment not currently available within the NHS. As a result, over 72,000 cancer patients have gained access to drugs since inception.

Arrangements on the current CDF are due to end on the 31st March 2016. The notion is that it is no longer fit for purpose due to its huge and rising costs, and the impact it has on other services in the management pathway as well as the NHS in general. Because of this, NHS England and NICE have asked the general pubic to submit their views on the future direction of the CDF.

The public consultation has been open since the 19th November 2015 and will run for 12 weeks up to the 11th February 2016. It is hoped that the new CDF will be operational from 1st April 2016, and will offer the following benefits.

  1. Patients access to treatments for which there is insufficient data to support routine use but which may have a significant improvement on their current treatment
  2. Allow the NHS to select only those drugs for which there is reason to believe that additional data will provide the evidence to support decision about their clinical and cost effectiveness and whether or not to move them into routine commissioning.
  3. A transparent and contestable process managed by NICE through which pharmaceutical companies can clarify the basis on which their products will be selected for use in the NHS, including the circumstances in which they may be eligible for time limited access to funding through the CDF.

To participate in the public consultation, complete the Online survey

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