Prostate Cancer UK welcomes Health Committee’s report on NICE

Failure to act on recommendations 'has potential to bring entire system to a standstill'

Prostate Cancer UK has welcomed the Health Committee's report on NICE. Owen Sharp, Chief Executive at Prostate Cancer UK, said:

"We welcome this report, which echoes a number of our key recommendations to the Health Committee.  It is unacceptable that there remains a lack of information about the proposed move to 'value-based pricing' to determine the cost of new drugs. Similarly, we still do not know how drugs currently provided via the Cancer Drugs Fund will be paid for in the future. Failure to provide such clarity, as a matter of urgency, will make a smooth transition to the proposed new pricing scheme highly unlikely, and has the potential to bring the entire system to a standstill.

"We commend the Health Committee on its strongly worded and timely report, and urge all relevant authorities to act upon it without delay to ensure a new drug pricing system will work.  We also urge the Department of Health to commit to better involve patient groups in the development of this important policy. It is essential that the discussions on the value of new drugs reflect the views of people who will ultimately benefit from them. "

Notes to editors

Prostate Cancer UK has led  a coalition of charities to research the views of people affected by cancer regarding the pricing and value of new drugs.   Their report "Value-based pricing: getting it right for people with cancer," presents the collective voice of over a dozen leading cancer charities, and the people they represent, and provides crucial insight into patients' opinion on these vitally important issues.

The report sets out that, although the principle behind the drug pricing reforms are welcome, people affected by cancer will not support value-based pricing unless it can be shown to lead to improvements in access to vital drugs. People affected by cancer see reform as an opportunity to improve the current system - but they want and need to have equal voice in the development of the policy and the determination of "value". The report proposes that a new body should be set up to represent and strengthen the voice of patients in future drug pricing and appraising processes across the UK. The report also highlights that, in addition to placing a high value on drugs which provide clear clinical benefits and those that provide benefits at the end of life, people affected by cancer value drugs which improve quality of life, especially those which reduce pain and fatigue.

Download Value-based pricing: getting it right for people with cancer