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New data highlights benefits of new approach to Cancer Drugs Fund

29th January 2018

NHS England has highlighted the considerable success achieved through the Cancer Drugs Fund since the scheme was overhauled and relaunched in July 2016.

Over the last year-and-a-half, nearly 15,700 patients have benefited from the 52 drugs made available through the fund, which are designed to treat 81 different types of cancer. Around 5,000 patients have received treatment sooner than they would have under the previous system.

Additionally, NHS England has secured discounts on eight of the treatments previously funded through the older version of the scheme, generating savings of around GBP 140 million for the NHS over the next five years.

John Stewart, director of specialised commissioning at NHS England, said: "Tough negotiations and flexibility are leading to more deals with pharmaceutical companies achieving real value for money for the NHS, meaning the new fund is not only benefiting patients, but industry, the NHS and the taxpayer too.”

The reformed fund sees the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence appraisal process commence much earlier for newly-referred drugs, with patients receiving new cancer drugs at least four months earlier than was previously the case.

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