Cancer: Drugs

Department of Health written question – answered on 29th January 2015.

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Photo of Andrew Gwynne Andrew Gwynne Shadow Minister (Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how the scoring tool used by NHS England in the review process for treatments on the Cancer Drugs Fund was developed; what scientific evidence was used in the development of the tool; and how clinicians and patients were involved in the development of the tool.

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

The national Cancer Drugs Fund prioritisation tool was developed by experts in the London Cancer New Drugs Group and the North West Cancer Drugs Fund Panel. It was utilised by the London and North West Cancer Drugs Fund Panels prior to the Cancer Drugs Fund moving to NHS England.

The prioritisation tool uses objective scoring measures such as progression free survival and overall survival to assess the clinical benefit of each drug under review. It was deemed the fairest and most consistent method by both patient members of the NHS England Clinical Reference Group (CRG) for Chemotherapy and the clinical experts within that CRG. It was therefore adopted by the national Cancer Drugs Fund Panel, which comprises expert clinicians. It has also been recognised by the pharmaceutical industry as a fair assessment of the clinical benefits of a drug.

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