Bowel cancer drug funding fears

As many as 6,500 bowel cancer patients could be denied access to life-extending drugs when a cash pot to pay for them ceases to exist at the end of the year, a charity has warned.

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What is the Cancer Drugs Fund?

  • The Cancer Drugs Fund is money the Government has set aside to pay for cancer drugs that haven’t been approved by NICE and aren’t available within the NHS in England.
  • This may be because the drugs haven’t been looked at yet or because NICE have said that they don’t work well enough or are not cost effective.
  • The Government have said that the fund is worth £200 million per year.
  • The Cancer Drugs Fund started at the beginning of April 2011.
  • This fund is shared between the 10 Strategic Health Authorities (SHAs) in England.
  • The fund is to continue until the end of March 2014.
  • From 2014 the Government plan to introduce a new way of setting prices for cancer drugs which aims to make more drugs routinely available in the NHS.

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