Cancer drugs fund launched

The government's £200m cancer drugs fund, designed to improve access to expensive new therapies, was launched last week.

Mr Lansley: improving the lives of thousands of cancer sufferers (Photograph: Bill Stephenson)
Mr Lansley: improving the lives of thousands of cancer sufferers (Photograph: Bill Stephenson)

Health secretary Andrew Lansley said 2,000 cancer patients had benefitted from the £50m interim fund set up last year. The full fund would improve the lives of ‘many thousands’ of cancer sufferers, he said.

The government said that most of the respondents to its consultation on the fund were supportive of the principles behind the scheme.

Respondents also stressed the importance of NICE continuing to have a role in providing evidence on clinical and cost effectiveness.

Most respondents also agreed that it would be appropriate for panels administering the fund not to fund drugs made by companies that have refused to cooperate with NICE.

As part of guidance on the implementation of the fun, the government has outlined NICE’s role in signalling technologies of potential benefit.

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