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Cancer drugs available sooner

28th July 2010

The government has announced it has set up an emergency fund of £50 million to allow seriously ill cancer patients to be given drugs more quickly.

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The move means that by October this year, the fund will allow patients to be given drugs that have not yet been approved by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).

The government announced the decision at the publication of a study by cancer tsar Sir Mike Richards, which revealed that the UK is falling behind other countries in giving patients access to new cancer medication.

The report showed that the UK placed 12 out of 14 countries in relation to the provision of the latest cancer medication (drugs available in the last five years) to patients.

The government has been able to finance the fund by scrapping the previous government's scheme for free care for the elderly.

Patients will be able to benefit from the fund from October, although a further fund will be available in April next year.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said: "I promised that I would help patients in England get cancer drugs that are readily available in the rest of Europe."

"It's a scandal that we are strong in cancer research and participation in clinical trials in the UK, yet NHS patients aren't always seeing the benefits from the research swiftly enough."

 

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Anonymous

Monday 2nd August 2010 @ 16:47

I should like to know how the government will fund all drugs on £50 million or even £200 million per year?
Last year 6000 people were trying to get Avastin for bowel cancer. If they were to be offered the drug it would wipe out the drugs fund at a stroke, and that is one drug and one cancer.


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