National Health Service (NHS) England, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), Public Health England and the UK Department of Health have jointly introduced the country to a new approach for the appraisal and funding of cancer drugs, the new Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF).
The CDF replaces the previous fund, which closed on 31 March this year after it had come under unsustainable financial pressure.
As CDF comes into effect, several drugs such as bosutinib, ceritinib, dabrafenib, trametinib, ipilimumab and nivolumab will be immediately eligible to receive interim funding, that are subject to agreement from the relevant pharmaceutical companies.
Up to five more drugs or indications are expected to become available for interim funding over the coming weeks.
Under the new CDF, all types of cancer drugs or indications that are expected to receive a marketing authorisation will be appraised by NICE.
All eligible patients will be able to receive cancer drugs, which will have clear entry and exit points in the CDF.
A new joint NHS England / NICE CDF Investment Group will manage the entire CDF budget of £340m, off-label drugs will also enjoy similar opportunities like other CDF drugs to gain access to CDF funds if they can show clinical promise.
The new system will introduce a managed access approach with an aim to rapidly support, as well as resolve any areas of uncertainty for drugs exhibiting clinical promise.
Cancer patients will be able to enjoy a faster access to promising new cancer treatments. Patients who are receiving treatment through an existing CDF drug will continue to do so, irrespective of the result of any NICE appraisal or reconsideration, until their clinician decides against it.
Any cancer drugs that were in the CDF as of 31 March this year will continue to receive funding while they are reconsidered by NICE.
Image: Under CDF, several cancer drugs will be immediately eligible to receive interim funding. Photo: courtesy of jk1991/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.