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Tighter controls for cancer drugs funding

Dramatic overspend on some cancer drugs prompts strict limit on spending 

It will never be easy to explain to a well-informed patient with cancer why the NHS does not fund a drug that could be their last hope.

Picture credit: iStockphoto

In 2010, the cancer drugs fund (CDF) gave access to drugs not routinely available on the NHS, particularly for people with rarer cancers. It followed a pledge by prime minister David Cameron that the NHS should no longer deny patients with cancer the drugs they need on cost grounds.

Since then, 84,000 patients have benefited. Now, six years on, the model has been judged unaffordable and will be replaced to put funding on a sustainable footing.

For some time spiralling costs had put the fund’s future in doubt. The initial budget of £200 million had risen to £340

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