More Clarity Needed Over Future Of Cancer Drugs Fund

Legal Expert Joins Charities In Calling For Further Information On Plans


By Rob Dixon

Public law experts who specialise in helping patients gain access to vital drug treatment have backed calls for the Government to provide clarity over how the Cancer Drugs Fund will be replaced when it comes to an end in March 2014.
A host of cancer charities have joined forces to campaign over the issue, raising concerns that little is so far known about what will happen when the £650 million fund – which provides patients with access to life-extending treatment – finishes.
The calls from organisations including Beating Bowel Cancer come after the Health Select Committee stated there remained a ‘lack of clarity’ on what support cancer patients and doctors will get in the future.
Irwin Mitchell’s specialist Public Law team have vast experience in acting in cases related to all kinds of health and social care issues, including representing those aiming to gain access to vital medical treatment and drugs.
Yogi Amin, a Partner at Irwin Mitchell and head of the team of experts, said: “NHS England recently introduced changes to improve more consistency in the way access to treatment via the Cancer Drugs Fund is provided, with the aim of reducing regional variation on such issues.
“However, while welcome, that move has rightly been overshadowed by the doubts that remain over the future of the fund and what cancer patients and doctors can expect to see happen when the fund ends in March 2014.
“A long-term outlook needs to be taken on this issue if people who are battling cancer, as well as those treating them, are going to be given a clear and comprehensive idea of the approach taking to drug funding.
“So many people will be keen on reassurances at present that such funding will be maintained and continue to provide them with vital life-saving and life-prolonging NHS treatment, which includes cancer drugs.”

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in relation to Social and Healthcare Law