Cancer drugs fund due to make drastic cuts to spending

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On 4 September 2015 it was announced that the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) in England will be taking steps to curb spending costs by proposing to remove various drugs used in the treatment of cancer.

It is estimated that under the proposal, more than 5,000 cancer patients will be affected, including patients with breast, bowel, skin, prostate, brain and pancreatic cancer.

The CDF, which was launched in 2011 by the Coalition Government in order to pay for cancer drugs rejected by NICE, has benefitted the lives of more than 50,000 patients and without the availability of these life-extending drugs, many patients and families will face a more uncertain journey in cancer treatment.

Cancer of all types and stages has the ability to tear through the lives of patients and their families and the reduction in funding from the CDF will naturally cause massive concern for current and future patients. If you have any concerns regarding cancer treatment, current or future, please speak to an oncology healthcare professional.

The proposals set out by the CDF are due to take effect on 4 November 2015. Patients already receiving drugs funded by the CDF will continue in their course of treatment, however patients diagnosed following 4 November 2015 unfortunately will not have access to some drugs that were previously available. The CDF maintains its position to weigh up the cost and benefit of funding cancer treatment drugs however the recent cull has caused significant worry to cancer charities, particularly those specialising in rarer cancers.

However, on a more positive note, the CDF is due to be revised in the near future with NHS England and NICE set to consult on a new system in the commission of cancer drugs. Hopefully the review, due to take place in 2016, will provide a more sustainable solution in the funding and availability of cancer treatment, an invaluable resource for patients during a distressing time in their lives.

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