Pharma firms to cover overspends on new cancer drugs fund

Will Hazel. HSJ. Published online 29th February.

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Image source: Gatis Gribusts

  • Cancer drugs fund will be a “managed access” fund from July
  • Under new scheme money due for drugs will be set aside and retained by NHS England if CDF budget is overspent
  • Pharmaceutical firms and cancer charity criticise changes

NHS England has confirmed that its new Cancer Drugs Fund will go live in July this year, with a provision that would force pharmaceutical companies to help cover the cost of overspends.

As previously reported by HSJ, the CDF will become a “managed access” fund, paying for new drugs for a set period before they are definitively approved or rejected by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.

The aim of the reforms is to make the CDF financially sustainable. Its original budget in 2010 was £200m but it has since ballooned to £340m. In December the fund was overspent by £92m for this financial year.

At its board meeting last week, NHS England confirmed that on 1 April the current list of drugs covered by the CDF will be “rolled over”, but the fund will close to new drugs until the start of the revamped scheme in July.

All existing CDF drugs will continue to be funded until NICE has been able to appraise them, and all patients currently receiving drugs will continue to get them, even if NICE eventually decides not to recommend them for continued use.

Read the full article here

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