The Cancer Drugs Fund was set up in 2010 to give patients access to innovative medicines at the point of discovery.
It has been hugely successful in improving outcomes for patients in England and over 76,000 people have benefited from the Fund. As a result, the UK has gone up in the ranking in Europe from 10th place to 7th place in terms of access to cancer medicines.
The latest de-listings that are happening are because there is such a huge clinical and patient led demand for these medicines and as a result the Fund has been overspent.
The decision means that up to 10,000 new patients may no longer have access to medicines currently available on the CDF. Fortunately patients who are currently being treated or are due start treatment up until November will still have access to these treatments.
The CDF has run out of money but was never intended to be a long-term solution to how NHS England provides medicines to patients. And that is why the pharmaceutical company Roche is today calling for reform to make sure there is a sustainable, pragmatic and a flexible way for patients to have access to these medicines.
Dr. Daniel Thurley, Medical Director at Roche Products Limited, and Deborah Lancaster, Director at the company, explain what the Cancer Drugs Fund is, why the de-listings are happening, what this will mean for patients and why reform is needed.