New funding for the Cancer Drugs Fund
Yesterday the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt announced an extremely welcome increase in the budget for the Cancer Drugs Fund. The Government has pledged an extra £160 million to the programme, increasing the annual spend from £200 million to £280 million until March 2016. This is brilliant news for patients and campaigners for all cancers as this money will help to fund the treatment for patients who are in most need of radical treatments.
The Cancer Drugs Fund was created by the Coalition in 2010 to improve cancer services. It enables patients to have access to drugs not yet approved by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, or not regularly provided by the NHS. So far the fund has helped 55,000 patients in England to receive cutting-edge treatment by making new and innovative treatments cost effective. The scheme has been a success and we hope that it continues to provide cutting-edge treatment for those cancers where mortality rates have increased over the past 10 years.
Rarer cancers such as brain tumours require innovation. The Government should ensure the necessary funding for research and treatment. We urge the Government to ensure that the Cancer Drugs Fund is the beginning of series of initiatives (including a focus on cancer deaths in under 75s and increased research spending for brain tumours) aimed at reducing mortality rates of cancers.
Please join our cause and let the Government know that more needs to be done to fight brain tumours by signing our E-Petition.
The list of drugs currently available through the fund can be viewed here.