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The Government established the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) to ensure access for National Health Service patients in England to effective cancer drugs that would not otherwise have been available to them. New arrangements for the assessment and adoption of new cancer drugs were introduced in 2016 to help improve patient access to new cancer drugs and the CDF is now linked to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) technology appraisal programme.
Under the new arrangements, NICE now appraises all new cancer drugs, and NICE is able to recommend a drug for use through the CDF where there is too much uncertainty to be able to recommend routine use. All cancer drugs recommended by NICE are eligible for funding through the CDF from the point of NICE’s draft guidance.
Since it was reformed in July 2016, the CDF has had a fixed budget of £340 million. This will remain the same for 2020-21.