Breast Cancer: Drugs

Department of Health written question – answered on 25th November 2015.

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Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Transport), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Equality)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will discuss with NICE and the Roche group of companies steps to reduce the cost of breast cancer drugs.

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

Improving the availability and use of effective medicines for all cancers, including breast cancer, is a key priority. We continue to work with the pharmaceutical industry on a range of issues, including the pricing of medicines, through mechanisms such as the Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme and the statutory scheme.

The independent National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) provides evidence-based guidance on the clinical and cost effectiveness of drugs and other health technologies for the NHS in England.

On 19 November 2015, NHS England and NICE launched a 12 week consultation on draft proposals on the future direction of the Cancer Drugs Fund. The consultation is open until 11 February 2016 and further information is available at:

We take the issue of ensuring rapid access to innovative therapies very seriously. The independent Accelerated Access Review is looking at how we can speed up access for NHS patients to innovative and cost effective new medicines, diagnostics, medical technologies and digital products. The review published its interim report on 27 October 2015, and its full report and recommendations are expected in spring 2016.

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