There are concerns that bowel cancer patients may have their access to vital drugs cut off in January 2014 when the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) is due to come to an end.
The £200m-a-year CDF was set up to allow patients in England to access which have not been cleared for widespread use on the NHS by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice)..
The charity Beating Bowel Cancer has written to Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health, to raising concerns that up to 6,500 bowel cancer patients a year will face an uncertain future when the fund ends in its present form.
Mark Flannagan, chief executive of Beating Bowel Cancer, said: "We urgently need the Secretary of State to give some clear guidance as to the future of the Cancer Drugs Fund, which sets out the Government's plans for the funding of vital cancer drugs from next January.
"We have asked for assurance that the Government will keep the promise it made to all cancer patients before the last election when the Prime Minister said: ".. if your doctor thinks that you should have a cancer drug that will help you to live a longer and better life, you should get that drug."
"Without such assurance, we are worried that we will return to a time when cancer patients have to beg for treatment or be forced to fund it themselves."
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