The updated Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) list has been published on the NHS England website.
The new list confirms the previous notifications of drugs and indications that were delisted on 4th November.
In total 12 drugs and 18 indications have been removed with one decision, for Radium 223, still outstanding (pending appeal).
There have been a number of reprieves, presumably following negotiations on price including Roche’s Kadcyla for the treatment of HER2-positive locally advanced/ unresectable or metastatic (stage IV) breast cancer. Breast Cancer Now organised a petition to Roche that was signed by more than 42,000 people to drop the price of Kadcyla.
It’s certainly good news that some drugs that we thought could be lost from the CDF are going to remain available but there are now also patients who are no longer able to access cancer drugs previous patients have received. This once again highlights the need for a unified, long-term and sustainable system of drug evaluation.
It’s been 2 weeks since we started this blog and although we now know the list of drugs that will continue to receive funding up until the end of the fund in March 2016, we still don’t have sight of the proposal for future delivery of the CDF and access to cancer drugs.
Sean Duffy, National Clinical Director for Cancer, was one of many speakers at last week’s Westminster Health Forum Keynote Seminar where the next steps for cancer care with a focus on access, integration and policy priorities were debated. When questioned on when we might have sight of the consultation document he was unable to provide any clarity. He does, however, believe that they have developed a good plan.
The decision now sits with Whitehall, and there is concern all round that time is running out.
As the delay in publication of the proposal lengthens, is there sufficient time for responses to be analysed, an orderly transition from the existing scheme to be implemented, and time for the new process to be operational from 1 April 2016?
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