Cancer Drugs Fund

Oral Answers to Questions — Health – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 10th June 2014.

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Photo of Grahame Morris Grahame Morris Labour, Easington 11:30 am, 10th June 2014

What discussions he has had with NHS England on the future of the cancer drugs fund.

Photo of Norman Lamb Norman Lamb The Minister of State, Department of Health

We have committed to continuing the cancer drugs fund until the end of March 2016. We will consider carefully with NHS England how, in the longer term, we can support patients in accessing cancer drugs that could benefit them, at a cost that represents value to the NHS.

Photo of Grahame Morris Grahame Morris Labour, Easington

I thank the Minister for that answer, but is it not true that last year the cancer drugs fund was again underspent—funds that could be used to pay for advanced radio therapy? Every MP has received a letter from the England rugby legend Lawrence Dallaglio asking for a meeting to highlight this problem. Why is the Secretary of State refusing to meet Mr Dallaglio, along with top cancer clinicians in Cancer Research UK?

Photo of Norman Lamb Norman Lamb The Minister of State, Department of Health

First, if only it was underspent. More than 50,000 patients have now benefited from the fund, which is fully spent. More than £1 billion will have been committed in the full period of the fund. I have confirmation from the Secretary of State that he has already met Lawrence Dallaglio. I hope that will reassure the hon. Gentleman.