Dr Richard Barker, Director General of the ABPI said: “Many NHS cancer patients do not receive treatment with the best available medicines. The Government itself recently confirmed that access to cancer medicines on the NHS is lower than access to all medicines in general and also lower when compared to other developed countries. This is particularly the case for new cancer medicines launched within the last five years. The launch of this interim fund is an important first step towards the Government's goal of providing better access to modern medicines for NHS patients, while longer-term solutions are sought.”
“The ABPI believes that improving access to the latest cancer medicines will generate improvements in the length and quality of life of cancer patients. However, achieving the goal of universal access to cancer medicines will require close cooperation between the Government, the NHS and the pharmaceutical industry.”
“Now the interim Cancer Drug Fund is established, it is critical that it is used to fund licensed medicines that would not otherwise have been funded by the NHS. We also call on the Government to ensure that the size of the Cancer Drug Fund reflects the true level of patient need.”
“As the Interim Fund is only available for the benefit of NHS patients in England, we would also encourage the Devolved Nations to consider adopting similar arrangements to improve access to medicines for patients across the UK.””
“Lower patient access to cancer medicines is a complex and multifactorial issue where culture, processes, systems and evaluation methods all play a part. These factors are not exclusive to cancer medicines and it is very important that longer term steps are taken to tackle the causes of variation, not just for cancer, but for other conditions as well.”
For further information, please contact the ABPI press office: 020 7747 1410.