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Most drugs paid for by £1.27bn Cancer Drugs Fund had no “meaningful benefit”

BMJ 2017; 357 doi: (Published 28 April 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;357:j2097
  1. Deborah Cohen
  1. The BMJ

The Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) has not “delivered meaningful value” to patients with cancer and may have exposed them to “toxic side effects of drugs,” an analysis has found.1

The CDF was established in 2010 in England to provide “patients with faster access to the most promising new cancer treatments” and to ensure “value for money for taxpayers.” It funded drugs that were not available through the NHS because the drugs had not been appraised, were in the process of being appraised, or had been appraised but not recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). The fund was overhauled last year.

Ajay Aggarwal, academic clinical oncologist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a lead author of the analysis, said, “From 2010 when it started to 2016 when it closed, the Cancer Drugs Fund cost the UK taxpayer a total of £1.27bn [€1.51bn; $1.64bn], the equivalent of one year’s total spend on all cancer drugs in the NHS.

“The majority of …

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