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Thursday, August 28, 2014

UK Government extends English cancer drugs fund

The Guardian reports that thousands more cancer patients in England will be offered vital treatments in a £160m boost to the Cancer Drugs Fund. The say that the fund, which has helped more than 55,000 cancer patients since it was set up four years ago, will be increased from £200m a year to £280m a year. As a result many more patients with rare conditions will benefit from life-extending drugs recommended by their doctor:

With the number of people diagnosed with cancer each year increasing by 9% since 2009, and the rising costs of ever more sophisticated drugs, the fund has an important role in helping patients receive treatment, enabling them to access drugs that are not routinely funded by the NHS.

Cancer experts at NHS England have also pinpointed two new drugs which will be added to the fund, a Department of Health spokeswoman said.

These are Xtandi (enzalutamide) for prostate cancer, and Revlimid (lenalidomide) for a new group of patients with myelodysplastic syndrome, a rare blood condition.

Meanwhile the Welsh Labour Government resists following suit leaving cancer patients here disadvantaged.

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