Monday 10th September 2012
The interim Cancer Drugs Fund of £50 million began in October 2010 and an annual fund of £200 million came into effect in April this year.
The aim of the fund is to give people with cancer in England greater opportunity to access drugs prescribed by their specialist. This is particularly important for people with rarer cancers, who have historically lost out when accessing costly drugs within the NHS.
More than 2,000 people have received drugs funded through the fund. Macmillan fully supports the objectives of the fund, but is concerned that there is considerable variation in the number of applications to the fund and uneven level of expenditure across regions. The fund is allocated across the 10 Strategic Health Authorities (SHAs) in England.
Within each SHA, a clinical panel decides which cancer drugs should be available through the fund. Most of the SHAs have made a priority list of drugs that they will pay for out of the fund. However, clinicians still need to explore all current NHS funding processes before applying to the fund.
We have more information about the Cancer Drugs Fund.