The ABPI welcomes the Government’s decision to extend the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) by £400m as good news for NHS cancer patients in England. The CDF is unique and has been highly effective in allowing tens of thousands of NHS patients in England to benefit from innovative new cancer medicines that they otherwise would not have been able to receive.
Whilst welcoming this announcement, the existence of the fund is indicative of the challenge in ensuring that current UK health technology assessment (HTA) methods and processes are able to work effectively for cancer and other specialist medicines. The ABPI believes that the CDF should continue until such time as HTA evaluation processes are able to better encourage and reward innovation and are shown to be effective for cancer medicines evaluation.
The ABPI looks forward to continuing to work with NHS England to ensure that NHS patients can get access to all modern cancer medicines when they need them.
Commenting on the announcement ABPI CEO Stephen Whitehead said:
"The CDF has had an incredibly positive impact for NHS cancer patients, with its availability bringing England closer to levels of access patients in comparable countries routinely experience. And whilst it is unfortunate that a special fund is needed to bridge this gap with other countries, we welcome the contribution this will make to further improving English cancer outcomes - an area where we have lagged historically."
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The ABPI represents innovative research-based biopharmaceutical companies, large, medium and small, leading an exciting new era of biosciences in the UK.
Our industry, a major contributor to the economy of the UK, brings life-saving and life-enhancing medicines to patients. Our members supply 90 per cent of all medicines used by the NHS, and are researching and developing over two-thirds of the current medicines pipeline, ensuring that the UK remains at the forefront of helping patients prevent and overcome diseases.
The ABPI is recognised by government as the industry body negotiating on behalf of the branded pharmaceutical industry, for statutory consultation requirements including the pricing scheme for medicines in the UK.