ITV news reports 4th November 2015: Key cancer drugs to be axed from NHS fund and is updated by The Mail 17th November 2015 as some drugs are spared the cut. This is logical rationing, just until there is proof that the drugs do more than gain a few months only – if thy have the potential for cure then that changes everything. Meanwhile covert post code regional rationing will continue as Wales makes the sensible decision… until the proprietary patent is due to expire in 12 years, when suddenly the generics will be allowed..
Key cancer drugs aimed at extending the lives of patients will be axed from an NHS list on Friday because of cuts to the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF).
NHS England are to remove over a dozen drugs from the list.
More than 5,500 patients will miss out on the life-extending treatments, charity the Rarer Cancers Foundation has warned.
The foundation said the decision to remove more than a dozen drugs from the list dealt a “hammer blow” to desperately ill patients and their families.
It will affect many patients with a range of cancers, including breast cancer and multiple myeloma.
The full list of drugs to be taken off the list are:
- Abraxane – used to treat pancreatic cancer.
- Avastin – used to treat cervical, breast and bowel cancers.
- Bendamustine – used to treat patients with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
- Bevacizumab – used to treat metastatic colorectal cancer.
- Bortezomib – for treatment of relapsed multiple myeloma.
- Bosutinib – used to treat leukaemia.
- Cabazitaxel – used to re-treat prostate cancer.
- Cetuximab – used to treat metastatic colorectal cancer.
- Dasatinib – used to treat leukaemia.
- Everolimus – used to treat pancreatic cancer.
- Kadcyla/Eribulin – used to treat breast cancer.
- Lapatinib – used to treat advanced breast cancer.
- Ofatumumab – used to treat lumphatic leukaemia.
- Pazopanib – used to treat soft-tissue sarcoma.
- Pemetrexed – used to treat lung cancers.
- Pegylated liposomal doxorubicin – used to treat angiosarcoma and sarcomas of the heart.
- NHS England announced earlier this year that it was cutting the number of drugs on the list in a bid to balance the books.Cancer charities have voiced their disappointment at denying cancer patients potentially life-extending treatments.
Baroness Delyth Morgan, Chief Executive at Breast Cancer Now called for the government to take leadership on this issue and hold the pharmaceutical industry to account.
Another charity – Beating Bowel Cancer – has said that the the scope for patients to make choices about their treatments will be restricted.
The CDF was launched in 2011 by Prime Minister David Cameron, who said patients should no longer be denied drugs on cost grounds.
The NHS spends approximately £1.3 billion annually on the provision of cancer drugs within routine commissioning. The CDF was established as an additional funding source to this.
Due to demand, the fund has continuously gone over its initial £200 million annual budget.
The Government pledged extra cash in January to make the fund now worth £340 million a year.
Also in January, NHS England said it would continue to pay for only 59 of the 84 treatments it had previously offered.
One de-listed drug, regorafenib, was put back on the list in May following an appeal.
Patients now using drugs that are de-listed will continue to get them, but new patients will not.