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No evidence that £1bn Cancer Drugs Fund has helped patients, says watchdog

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h4988 (Published 17 September 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h4988
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1The BMJ

There is no way of knowing whether the Cancer Drugs Fund, which has cost the NHS £1bn (€1.37bn; $1.55bn) over five years, has improved the survival or quality of life of patients who accessed new treatments, a National Audit Office report has said.1

The fund, which has provided cancer patients with drugs that are not approved by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), is likely to cease to exist from next April, said the report from the government spending watchdog. Decisions about which cancer drugs are available on the NHS would revert to NICE, the organisation set up in 1999 to determine the affordability of new drugs.

Meg Hillier, MP and chair of the Public Accounts Committee, said, “At a time …

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