Cancer Drugs Funding Cut Criticised By Charities

25 Treatments Will No Longer Be Funded

19.01.2015

The leaders of 15 cancer charities have signed a letter sent to the Daily Telegraph, criticising the government's decision to withdraw funding for 25 treatments on the NHS.

The letter, whose signatories include the heads of Prostate Cancer UK, Breakthrough Breast Cancer, Beating Bowel Cancer and Leukaemia Care, says there is an urgent need to overhaul the system if people with cancer are to get access to the treatments they need.

It follows an announcement that the Cancer Drugs Fund, which was established in 2010 to provide funding for more expensive treatments, is set to dramatically overspend its £280m budget.

The decision to cut back on 25 treatments is expected to affect around 8,000 people, including 3,000 patients with bowel cancer and 1,700 patients with breast cancer.

The letter states: "The knee-jerk reaction has been to save money by re-evaluating the availability of these drugs, regardless of need.

"The number of people living with cancer is predicted to reach a record level this year in Britain."

Expert Opinion
The decision to cut funding to the Cancer Drugs Fund is a very emotive issue. Providing cancer patients with access to the very latest drugs and medical technology is crucial and plays a critical role in improving the chances of patients surviving and recovering from the diseases.

“Patient care should always be a top priority for the NHS, which means ensuring the changes to the way the Cancer Drugs Fund is funded does not negatively impact the health of patients.”
Mandy Luckman, Partner