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Government’s fund is improving access to drugs for patients with cancer

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d7918 (Published 05 December 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d7918
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1London

Since October 2010 more than 7500 patients in England, including many with rare cancers, have been treated with drugs not previously available on the NHS to treat those cancers, thanks to the cancer drugs fund set up by the coalition government, says a report from the charity Macmillan Cancer Support.

In a review of how the fund is working, the charity praises it for enabling a better understanding of the clinical effectiveness of drugs for rarer cancers by increasing the number of off-label drugs being approved by funding panels. However, it warns that regional variability exists in the number of applications being made and in the proportion approved.

It is also concerned about access to these drugs when the fund ends …

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