Professor Paul Workman, Interim Chief Executive of The Institute of Cancer Research, London, said:
"We welcome the moves the Government is taking to increase access to innovative cancer medicines. It is critical that our systems for making new drugs available on the NHS take into account how innovative a drug is, as opposed to simply giving the green light to 'me too' drugs that replicate the functions of others already available. Making more money available to the Cancer Drugs Fund and using it in a more targeted way could significantly improve access to important new treatments like abiraterone, which was discovered at The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), and was recently turned down by NICE for use in patients pre chemotherapy.
"Of course changes to the Cancer Drugs Fund are inherently short term, given it is still only confirmed until 2016, and limited in scope, since it covers England but not the rest of the UK. At the ICR, we would like to see a sustainable, long-term system for introducing new drugs into the NHS, one that covers all of the UK, and places at its heart the need for innovative treatments that address areas of high unmet clinical need."
Notes to editors
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