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Joint open letter to the Prime Minister on Cancer Drugs Fund

Posted by: Policy and campaigning 16 May 2016

Pancreatic Cancer UK is one of 15 signatories to an open letter to the Prime Minister published today. As one of a coalition of cancer charities we are raising serious concerns about government’s current plans to replace the current Cancer Drugs Fund from July. The fund will move to be managed by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and the coalition is concerned that the methodology used to appraise drugs by NICE needs reform or new cancer treatments will struggle to be approved for use on the NHS in England. We raised also raised concerns about this through our Key to Survival campaign launched earlier this year.

Alex Ford, Chief Executive of Pancreatic Cancer UK said:

“The Cancer Drugs Fund, having acknowledged that the current system hadn’t been working well for patients, gave greater hope but its replacement needs to do more, not less. We want to see a bolder approach that goes much further to change with the times and make better access to effective treatments the norm. Very few treatments exist for pancreatic cancer patients and survival rates have barely changed in 40 years. For the average patient who can expect to survive just 2-6 months after diagnosis, new and effective treatments which mean extra time with loved ones need to be accessible as quickly and efficiently as possible.”