Cancer charity demands extension of drug fund despite criticisms it is unfair

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 29 October 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g6507
  1. Matthew Limb
  1. 1London

A cancer charity has urged all UK political parties to extend the life of the controversial Cancer Drugs Fund in England until 2020, even though the ethical basis for the fund has been described as “arbitrary at best.” Similar funds should also be introduced in other parts of the United Kingdom, the charity said, despite concerns over the fairness and effectiveness of this temporary funding measure.

The charity Breakthrough Breast Cancer, which received £24 000 (€30 000; $40 000) in 2012-13 from the drug company Roche, one of the three biggest suppliers of drugs paid for through the national fund, made the appeal on Tuesday 28 October as it launched its “Demand a fair price” campaign at its annual reception in the House of Commons. It said that women should have access to the breast cancer drugs they need, wherever they live in the UK, so a new system of drug pricing and evaluation has to be developed by …

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