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Cancer Drugs Fund

INTERVIEW: AstraZeneca on the Cancer Drugs Fund reforms

Published on 26/02/16 at 12:33pm

Greg Rossi, head of the Oncology Business Unit, AstraZeneca UK and Ireland, and the company’s market access team, spoke to about the now-approved changes to the Cancer Drugs Fund, with the consultation period having ended in mid-February.

NHS England this week approved the proposals, confirming that the new ‘managed access fund’ controlled by NICE would begin from July 2016, with a fixed annual budget of £340 million.

NHS England approves Cancer Drugs Fund proposals

NHS England has approved proposed reforms of the Cancer Drugs Fund, following the end of the 12-week consultation period earlier this month.

The English public health body says the reforms, in which the CDF becomes a managed access Fund within NICE from July 2016, will improve patient access to innovative medicines. Under the new system, new oncology drugs on the market will be assessed by NICE, which will give a ‘yes’, ‘no’ or ‘maybe’ decision.

Novartis says CDF proposals place “unreasonable” risk on pharma

Novartis has criticised some of the proposed changes to the way in which the UK Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) is operated, as the consultation period on the proposals come to an end, saying a number of the suggestions are “not workable”.

The Swiss-based company, one of the largest pharma companies in the world, says changes due to come in from April 2016 could result in patients being “denied access to new, potentially life-saving treatments for more than six months, due to the proposed closure of the fund to new medicines, as the Fund seeks to move to a more financially sustainable mode

Parliamentary committee says CDF must make better use of taxpayer money

NHS Westminster

The Cancer Drugs Fund, set up to improve patients’ access to cancer drugs, has not been managed effectively, a UK Government Committee has found. 

The Committee of Public Accounts (PAC), which scrutinises the value for money gained by public spending, also describes it as ‘unacceptable’ that as the scheme enters its sixth year, the government is still unable to properly assess the benefit to patients of the CDF. 

A brighter future for the Cancer Drugs Fund?

Published on 14/01/16 at 10:05am
The future is uncertain for patients who need costly cancer treatments

In November 2015, NICE and NHS England announced proposed changes to the operation of the Cancer Drugs Fund. This is currently a £340 million a year scheme in England to fund cancer patients' access to innovative treatments not routinely available on the NHS – either because NICE has not recommended them, or because they are awaiting appraisal.

Why the need for reform?

NHS England and NICE announce plans for new Cancer Drugs Fund

A 12-week consultation on draft proposals for a revamped Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) has been launched by NHS England and NICE, recommending that the Fund operates within the two organisations.

The original CDF, established in 2011 to fund cancer drugs in England that are not currently approved by NICE, will expire in April 2016.

NICE rejects Roche’s Kadcyla for NHS; price still too high

NICE has published final draft guidance on Roche’s Kadcyla as a breast cancer treatment, deciding that the drug’s price remains too high for it to be recommended for routine use on the NHS.

The decision comes despite NHS England’s November U-Turn in which it decided to keep Kadcyla (trastuzumab-emtansine) on the Cancer Drugs Fund List following negotiations over a price reduction with the Swiss manufacturer.

NHS England reinstates treatments to Cancer Drugs Fund

NHS sign

Five treatments in seven indications have been reinstated to Cancer Drugs Fund, as a result of negotiations between pharma companies and NHS England, and following pressure from patient groups.

NHS England has backtracked following the publication of an update to the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) list in September, which had identified 17 medicines for 25 indications for potential de-listing.

Roche under pressure to drop price of Kadcyla

Credit: NICE

The UK’s largest breast cancer charity has called for drug manufacturer Roche to drop the price of Kadcyla before it is removed from the Cancer Drugs Fund.

The letter, signed by Baroness Delyth Morgan, chief executive of Breast Cancer Now, follows the launch of a petition led by the charity earlier this month demanding Roche drop the price of Kadcyla (trastuzumab emtansine). It has already been signed by more than 40,000 people.

ABPI responds to UK medicines cost controversy

ABPI acting CEO, Alison Clough

Alison Clough, acting CEO of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), has responded to recent reports in the media concerning the spiralling cost of medicines in the UK, and the premium it apparently pays when compared to other countries.

Coverage has claimed that UK-based patients are being denied access to some potentially life-extending cancer drugs as a result of companies charging higher prices for the same medications in Britain than in other countries.

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