Cancer: Drugs

Department of Health written question – answered on 13th February 2015.

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Photo of Earl Howe Earl Howe The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

The decision-making process adopted by NHS England’s Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) panel is set out in the Standard Operating Procedures of the Fund.

Decisions are based on the national CDF clinical prioritisation tool in conjunction with an assessment of median drug cost per patient. This evaluation is completed for each drug/indication under consideration and will result in an overall score based on a number of factors, including:

evidence of clinical benefit; survival and quality of life benefit; toxicity/safety; unmet need; and median drug cost per patient.

Unmet need is defined in the tool as:

“Degree of clinical unmet need, i.e. either the first demonstration of efficacy of a systemic therapy for the disease concerned or a step change for the clinical setting concerned.

Criteria Score

No alternative treatment 3

Alternative Active standard treatment exists 0”

The Standard Operating Procedures are available on NHS England’s website at:

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