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NHS England pulls funding from 25 cancer treatments

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h214 (Published 14 January 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h214
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1The BMJ

A total of 25 indications for 16 drugs used in cancer treatment will no longer be paid for through the extra fund created by the prime minister, David Cameron, in 2010, while an extra three drugs have been added to the list.

The total number of drug indications that will be paid for through the Cancer Drugs Fund from April now stands at 59, down from 84, after a review of the effectiveness, safety, and cost of the drugs, published on 12 January.1 Peter Clark, the fund’s chair and a practising oncologist, defended the decision to delist 25 indications because they don’t offer patients sufficient clinical benefit. He said that NHS England “simply cannot go on funding” these uses.

In some cases the drugs were too expensive at first, but deals made with drug companies led to price reductions, making the drugs more affordable and “saving millions of pounds that can now be reinvested in other …

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