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Despite providing access to thousands of patients, the Cancer Drugs Fund in England has become unsustainably overspent, has failed to collect enough data about the impact is has achieved, and has lost its focus on providing quicker patient access to innovative cancer drugs.
This is why Macmillan, as part of a coalition of cancer charities, has been calling on NICE and the NHS to create a better process. We recognise that people have benefited from the Cancer Drugs Fund, but it needs improvement.
Macmillan believes that the changes to NICE and Cancer Drugs Fund processes go some way to achieving this in England. We should see quicker access to new cancer drugs for patients through an updated NICE process, better data collection over a defined period, and a better route for drugs which are shown to be effective to become routinely available.
But there is further work to be done to create a cancer drugs appraisal system we believe will meet the needs of patients. We need to see patient voice reflected throughout the process, a re-assessment of cost-effectiveness thresholds, and fairer drug pricing and negotiation.
- What is the cancer drugs fund and other information is explained here.