Beating bowel cancer together

Our response to approval of Cancer Drugs Fund proposal

Today the NHS England Board met to approve plans for a new funding system for cancer drugs. The Board voted to approve these plans, which will come into effect on 1 July 2016.

The Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) was set up in 2010 to pay for cancer drugs that the National Institute for Care and Clinical Excellence (NICE) had not approved for use on the NHS. Since then the CDF has provided treatment to more than 10,000 people affected by bowel cancer.

These are potentially life-extending treatments that patients with advanced bowel cancer would not have otherwise been able to access. However the CDF consistently over spent and recently NHS England began a delisting process in which cancer drugs were removed from the CDF based on clinical and cost-effectiveness.

Following the NHSE Board meeting held today which recommended an action to 'approve' the new CDF proposals, Bowel Cancer UK has issued the following statement.

Asha Kaur, Policy Manager at Bowel Cancer UK said:

"Bowel Cancer UK is disappointed that the NHS England Board approved the new Cancer Drug Fund (CDF) proposals today without significant change. We believe that this system may not increase access to life-saving bowel cancer drugs. The CDF was, in part, created in recognition that current NICE methodology is not fit to appraise cancer drugs and does not take into account the wider societal benefits that they offer. Fundamental reform of NICE methodology and the QALY threshold is not included in the proposals which could result in access to bowel cancer drugs decreasing."

"It is evident that the NHSE and NICE have not given sufficient time to read and address the 286 responses to the consultation, many of which were from patient groups and charities with expert cancer knowledge."

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