NHS England releases update to national Cancer Drugs Fund list

NHS England has released an update to the national Cancer Drugs Fund list, further increasing access for patients to an additional three new cancer drugs.

The additions to the list have been made following a review of trial data from the drugs by the Chemotherapy Clinical Reference Group (CRG), one of 74 such groups which provide clinical advice to NHS England regarding a range of specialised services.

The additions are Aflibercept in 2nd line colorectal cancer, Bevacizumab in 2nd line Ovarian Cancer and Pertuzumab in breast cancer.

The Chemotherapy CRG is working closely with clinicians and representatives of the pharmaceutical industry to ensure a rapid review process for new drugs that may be appropriate for inclusion on the Cancer Drugs Fund list.  The review process looks at the available evidence regarding a drug’s efficacy, plus data relating to its safety.

Professor Peter Clark, Chair of the Chemotherapy CRG, said: “These new additions to the list demonstrate NHS England’s commitment to achieving maximum benefit to patients from the £200 million Cancer Drugs Fund.  The process of updating the list is led by cancer specialists, and should ensure that patients benefit quickly when new drugs become available that are backed by good evidence from trial data.”

The Cancer Drugs Fund provides an additional £200m each year to enable patients with cancer in England to access drugs that are not routinely funded by their local NHS.  The national Cancer Drugs Fund list is a single national list of approved fast-track drugs giving uniform access to treatment across the country.  From 1 April, NHS England took on responsibility for the operational management of the Cancer Drugs Fund, creating for the first time a single national system for deciding which drugs are available and for which conditions.

The manufacturers of the three new drugs have agreed a confidential commercial scheme with NHS England.

Further information about the Cancer Drugs Fund.