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Specialist cancer drugs more accessible

More patients have received specialist cancer drugs since NHS England took over the £200 million Cancer Drugs Fund. 

The Fund, which provides an additional £200 million each year to enable cancer patients in England to receive access to drugs, was taken over by NHS England in April. 

It also provides fast track access to cancer drugs that are awaiting NICE guidance, as well as access to less common drugs. 

Since April, NHS England has made specialist drugs more widely available on the NHS, as well as adding five new drugs to the list. 

Sean Duffy, National Clinical Director for Cancer at NHS England, said: “Drugs and treatments for cancer are evolving and expanding and it's important that as a health service we keep up to date with the latest innovations.

“What is clear though is that quick access to a wide range of possible treatments increases the range of treatment options available for patients and this can only be a good thing.”

Professor Peter Clark, chair of NHS England's Chemotherapy Clinical Reference Group, said: “NHS England has made some really key improvements in the administration of the Cancer Drugs Fund. 

"This is aimed at reducing unacceptable variations in access to these cancer drugs and is a major step towards ensuring that patients have the same treatment options, wherever they live.”