Eight cancer drugs to be denied on NHS

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NHS_ oncology news australiaBy Laura Donnelly – The Telegraph.

Charities have expressed outrage as details emerged of plans to stop funding eight drugs which extend life for patients with breast, prostate and bowel cancer.

Thousands of cancer patients will be denied NHS drugs following a decision to withdraw funding for at least eight life-extending treatments.

Medication which offers a last chance to patients with breast, prostate and bowel disease will no longer be funded by the NHS, under plans to cut spending.

Ahead of the last election, the Conservatives pledged to introduce a Cancer Drugs Fund so that cancer patients were no longer denied drugs on the grounds of cost.

But the £200m fund, introduced in 2011, has overspent its budget, despite the fact it was increased to £280m, leading to a review of 25 drugs which are used in 42 treatments.

On Monday, NHS England is due to announce how many of the drugs will be “delisted” so that they are not routinely funded by the NHS.

But details have emerged of eight cancer treatments which are expected not to be funded, sparking outrage from doctors and charities.

The treatments include six drugs for breast cancer – Halaven, Avastin, Kadcyla, Afinitor, Tyverb and Perjeta.

They also include Jevtana – the only treatment for hormone resistant advanced prostate cancer, after chemotherapy – and Zaltrap, a drug used for bowel cancer drug that can extend life after a tumour has spread. The two latter drugs have been requested for NHS funding for 2,000 patients in the last 18 months, while the breast cancer drugs have been funded around 3,000 times in the last year… read more.

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