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NHS cancer drug fund available 'as soon as possible'

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Expensive cancer drugs will be made available to NHS patients through a funding scheme that may be launched by the end of the year, according to the Prime Minister.

David Cameron told MPs he wanted a fund to be set up sooner than the original date of April 2011.

“If it can be done, it will be done. I will do everything I can to make that happen,” he said.

The Tory-Lib Dem coalition is being pushed to introduce its cancer drugs fund, which will allow patients to get GP-prescribed drugs on the NHS even if they cost a lot.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence last week refused to approve lapatinib, a breast cancer drug, for the NHS in England, citing its high cost and the fact it prolongs life by just a few weeks. As many as 2,000 women with advanced breast cancer will miss out.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Outstanding! All those naysayers who said this government would be a bad thing for the NHS?

    As I said in the specific story about NICE refusing this drug on the NHS due to cost, the fact that this drug was denied in the first place was wrong. NICE needs sorting out, and fast.

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