Steve teams up with Macmillan Cancer in call to make Cancer Drugs Fund more effective

Steve McCabe MP, Birmingham Selly Oak, attended a reception to celebrate Macmillan Cancer’s 100th Bi


The Cancer Drugs Fund, worth £200 million a year, pays for cancer drugs that aren’t routinely available on the NHS. This often includes drugs that haven’t been approved for funding, are yet to be approved for funding or that aren’t approved for a specific type of cancer.



While the Cancer Drugs Fund has already helped over 7,000 patients receive drugs they couldn’t have got on the NHS, Macmillan Cancer believes the Fund could be used more effectively.



England is divided into 10 Strategic Health Authorities (SHAs) and each one is given a share of the Fund. Variations in how these SHA’s have chosen to administer their allocation of the Fund has produced regional disparities in the number of applications made to the Fund and application approval rates, as well as differences in SHA shortlists of drugs.



Macmillan Cancer have called on the government to monitor closely how the Cancer Drugs Fund is working so that patients can access the drugs that will be effective in treating or controlling their cancer no matter where they live in England



Ultimately Macmillan Cancer wants to see all treatments, made available through the Cancer Drugs Fund, automatically available on the NHS in 2014, when a new system for pricing medicines is launched.



Steve said:

“I think the Cancer Drug Fund is a positive programme that enables people to access treatment they would otherwise be denied.



“However, I think any system that fosters a postcode lottery needs to be looked at again to ensure that regional differences are kept to an absolute minimum.



“I support Macmillan Cancer’s aim to see all treatments available on the NHS by 2014.”



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