Cancer Drugs Fund expanded to £280m
Today, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt announced the Cancer Drugs Fund will be increased from £200m a year to £280m. This will mean many more patients with rare conditions will benefit from life-extending drugs recommended by their doctor, but that are not routinely funded by the NHS in England.
Following an extension in 2013, the Fund is confirmed until March 2016. The new money means the amount committed will top £1 billion in total.
Alex Ford, Chief Executive of Pancreatic Cancer UK, comments,
"We fully support this extra funding and welcome the fact that expert clinicians will evaluate the listed drugs to ensure patients are offered the most effective drugs for their condition.
"It is imperative that any new process the NHS adopts to make commissioning decisions on new drugs, addresses the most challenging cancers. Small gains from drugs like the recently approved Abraxane for pancreatic cancer may not be viewed as clinically significant, but are hugely important when viewed alongside drugs for other conditions where the survival rates are higher and more treatments are available.
"We would like to see recalcitrant/less common cancers, such as pancreatic cancer, which have a very poor prognosis and have not seen survival increases in many years, being properly served. We hope to have the opportunity to work with the Department of Health and other charities over the coming months to try and deliver that goal."
Read more about the CDF expansion in the Guardian.