UK's Cancer Drugs Fund gets cash infusion, but loses 16 drugs
- The Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) has traditionally been the fall-back option in the UK when the National Health Services would not pay for a cancer drug, but the fund is facing a financial crisis. An annual cash infusion will bring the fund's budget up to $513 million from $422 million.
- The cash infusion is being hailed as a good thing, but 16 drugs have been cut.
- All told, 16 drugs used in 25 treatments will be stopped, although some new drugs will be added to the list. Before the cut, there were a total of 84 funded drug treatments.
The CDF was initially intended to be a stop-gap measure, but instead became a lifeline for many patients who could not get funding through the NHS. However, when NHS reviewed the fund, the agency found that it had overspent and was in a crisis. One of the hardest-hit groups under this cut will be patients with breast cancer, as the CDF cuts three breast cancer drugs. For their part, pharma companies have been working with the CDF to make prices more affordable and CDF experts are using evidence-based analysis to make the most of available treatment options and maximize benefits for patients.