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Statement about plans to reform Cancer Drugs Fund

The Institute of Cancer Research, London, has issued a statement about plans by NHS England to reform the Cancer Drugs Fund.

Professor Paul Workman, Chief Executive of The Institute of Cancer Research, London, said: 

“Today’s announcement signals a welcome move towards a more rational and unified system of drug evaluation. It does make sense for the Cancer Drugs Fund to pay for new drugs only after a provisional green light from NICE, to avoid duplicating the processes for deciding whether drugs should be made available on the NHS. 

“There are also promising signs of a desire to address the bottleneck we have in cancer drugs being approved for use on the NHS. The proposals could speed up the drug evaluation system – which is good news for everyone – and would increase the number of drugs which would be available for consideration under end of life criteria. 

“I welcome the fact that new patients will benefit from early access to promising treatments while further evidence is collected. It’s a good solution for the Cancer Drugs Fund to provide early access to drugs in this way.

“Drug evaluation is enormously complex, and the devil will be in the detail. The proof of success will be in more, and particularly more innovative, drugs actually reaching patients on the NHS.”


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