To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to improve access to new medicines for patients with pancreatic cancer.
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will conduct an assessment of the Cancer Drugs Fund in relation to the provision of new treatments for patients with pancreatic cancer, and in particular in respect of quality of life.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) provides advice to the National Health Service on the clinical and cost-effectiveness of drugs and treatments. NICE technology appraisal guidance, issued in May 2001, recommends gemcitabine as an option for treating patients with advanced or metastatic adenocarcinoma of the pancreas who meet certain clinical criteria.
NHS commissioners are legally required to fund those treatments recommended by NICE in its technology appraisal guidance.
Since October 2010, the Cancer Drugs Fund has helped over 44,000 patients in England to access the life-extending or life-improving cancer drugs their clinicians think they need. On
NHS England is responsible for administering the Cancer Drugs Fund, and decisions on which treatments are afforded priority funding status are taken by an expert clinical panel. In assessing applications for drugs to be included in the national Cancer Drugs Fund cohort policies list, the expert clinical panel uses a scoring tool and one of the criteria in this tool is evidence of impact on quality of life.
For cancer drugs not on the national cohort policy list, regional clinical panels can consider individual applications for funding in exceptional cases.