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Number of patients eligible for fast track access to drugs through the cancer drugs fund is slashed

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f2197 (Published 08 April 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f2197
  1. Ingrid Torjesen
  1. 1London

The number of cancer indications for which patients can have fast track access to drugs not routinely available on the NHS through the cancer drugs fund has been halved by reforms announced by NHS England on 4 April.

NHS England, formerly the NHS Commissioning Board, has drawn up a national list of cancer drugs yet to be assessed by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, for which doctors in England can ask for fast track access for their patients. It argues that this will reduce the postcode lottery in access to drugs caused by funding decisions, which were previously made at a regional level through the 10 strategic health authorities.1

The national list contains 28 drugs to treat 64 different cancer indications.2 The charity Macmillan …

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