NHS England has announced that changes to the Cancer Drugs Fund will go ahead and they will evaluate the ‘cost effectiveness' of medicines available through the Fund for the first time.
Some 42 drugs are being reassessed on cost grounds with a list of the drugs at risk of being delisted published on NHS England's site.
The Cancer Drugs Fund was created to give patients in England access to cancer treatments found too expensive for hospitals to fund under the NHS.
The national Cancer Drugs Fund panel, which includes patient representatives as well as oncologists and pharmacists, will meet in mid-December to evaluate the 'at risk' list.
Decisions regarding which drugs will be removed from it will be made public next year.
NHS England said that no patient currently receiving a drug via the Fund will have their treatment discontinued as the drugs are delisted.
All six breast cancer drugs available under the Fund are being reassessed.
Caitlin Palframan, senior policy manager at Breakthrough Breast Cancer, said: "It's encouraging to see that changes are being made to improve the way that the Cancer Drugs Fund operates and make better use of the money available.
"However, we're deeply concerned that several very effective breast cancer drugs appear on the list of drugs at risk of delisting due to their high price. The Fund is the only way women in England can routinely access these drugs that can offer them months, or even years, of additional good quality life."
She continued:"The Cancer Drugs Fund was only ever intended to be a temporary solution, acting as a safety net for patients, but we are now facing a situation in which it may fail to perform that function for some people and more and more life-extending drugs could be snatched away from those that need them."
Owen Sharp, chief executive of Prostate Cancer UK also said: "While we welcome the clarity provided by these proposed reforms, the huge deficit that has brought the Cancer Drugs Fund to the brink is the result of a failed drug appraisal system that continues to deny thousands of cancer patients access to effective drugs that they clearly need.
"A long-term solution is urgently needed that delivers an overhaul of the way new cancer drugs are appraised. To work there must be greater collaboration with the pharmaceutical industry to develop measures that combat the over-pricing of new cancer drugs and make them affordable for the NHS. We will be holding NHS England, NICE and the government to their commitment to work closely with patients and clinicians to make this happen
According to Bupa
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