NHS England has announced a new single national list of drugs that the Cancer Drugs Fund will routinely fund throughout the whole of England. Included on the list are the pre chemotherapy use of abiraterone and post abiraterone use of cabazitaxel - both treatments for men with advanced disease not routinely available on the NHS.
Responding to this news Dr Sarah Cant, Director of Policy and Strategy at Prostate Cancer UK said: "Men with advanced prostate cancer have had very few treatment options available to them for far too long. The fact that in England these men will now have access to additional treatments through the Cancer Drugs Fund should bring relief to many. The move towards a system which brings more equality in terms of access to the Fund is also very welcome.
"It must, however, be remembered that the Cancer Drugs Fund is merely a short term measure, due to end in January 2014 which only benefits men in England. We need to be working towards a better overall system for drug pricing that provides access to the best, most appropriate treatments for all men across the whole of the UK . We are concerned that the new value-based system for drug pricing will not be able to offer this if patients' views on value are not meaningfully included in its development. We continue to urge the Department of Health to involve patient organisations in the development of this new system, and help ensure its success before it's too late."