Cancer Drugs Fund patient

Cancer Drugs Fund: 100,000 patients receive earlier treatment access

NHS England (NHSE) is set to reach a major milestone this month as nearly 100,000 patients have benefitted from earlier treatment access through the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF).

Since being setup in its current form during 2016, over 100 drugs in more than 250 indications have helped improve, extend and save lives through the CDF.

After being approved by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), all cancer treatments are immediately supported through the CDF, meaning patients benefit from new cancer drugs an average of six months faster under the current system.

A total of 58 innovative treatments have been funded through the CDF while more evidence is gathered on long-term benefits – 33 have since been reappraised, with 28 now routinely commissioned on the health service.

Victoria Atkins comment

Just last month, the drug dostarlimab was found to benefit endometrial cancer patients when delivered with chemotherapy.

The current CDF budget is £340m – 70% more than the previous iteration – and is used in conjunction with the £340m available through NHSE’s Innovative Medicines Fund.

“Treating 100,000 cancer patients in England with innovative treatments through the CDF is a fantastic milestone for the health service to reach,” said Professor Sir Stephen Powis, NHSE’s national medical director.

Stephen added that the achievement is testament to the hardworking oncology teams across the country.

NHSE’s national director for specialised commissioning, John Stewart, said that, despite the challenges of the last eight years, “NHS staff have always embraced exciting breakthrough medicines” and provided the best care for patients.

To learn more about the latest clinical trials, register for National Health Executive’s Life Sciences online conference.

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NHE May/June 2024

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