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Cancer Drugs Fund receives boost but will no longer fund “overpriced” drugs

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g5382 (Published 01 September 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g5382
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

The Cancer Drugs Fund has been given a 40% increase in funding and has agreed to remove from its list any drugs that are overpriced or produce little clinical benefit. The fund’s chairman also promised to try to align the fund’s assessments more closely with those of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

NHS England, which is responsible for the drugs fund, has agreed to increase the amount the fund receives for the next two years from £200m (€252m; $332m) to £280m a year. The fund has treated 55 000 people since it began, using drugs that NICE did not recommend as cost effective because, in most cases, they offered patients only a few more months of life.

Originally launched by Andrew Lansley, the former health secretary, as a way to satisfy political pressures,1 the fund has succeeded in that …

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