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Cancer: Drugs

Department of Health written question – answered on 7th November 2014.

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Photo of Tessa Munt Tessa Munt Liberal Democrat, Wells

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, with reference to NHS England's consultation document Proposal for a sustainable Cancer Drug Fund, page 9, Points 24 and 25, what NHS England's overspend of the Cancer Drug Fund (CDF) was during its first year in charge of the CDF; whether the CDF was in budget each year prior to 1 April 2013; how much was taken from the radiotherapy budget to underwrite the overspend; from which disease area money was taken to underwrite the CDF overspend; and how much funding was taken in such a fashion to underwrite the overspend.

Photo of George Freeman George Freeman The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

Prior to April 2013, the Cancer Drugs Fund was administered through clinical panels based in each strategic health authority. There were no overspends through the Fund during this period.

NHS England has had oversight of the Cancer Drugs Fund since April 2013 and publishes information on spend and patient numbers routinely on its website at:


NHS England has published a summary financial report for the Cancer Drugs Fund which states that the Fund was overspent by £30,539,000 in 2013-14. We understand from NHS England that this overspend was not funded from funding for radiotherapy services but from underspends in other parts of NHS England’s budget.

Since October 2010, over 55,000 patients in England have benefitted from the Cancer Drugs Fund.

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