NICE approving 'more drugs than ever' for use by cancer patients

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What does this mean for cancer patients? What does this mean for cancer patients?

Three quarters of drugs on the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) have been approved by NICE, making them more easily accessible to cancer patients in need of medication.

Sorafenib, also known as Nexavar, will be made routinely available to some patients on the NHS. The drug, made by Bayer, is one of 18 drugs appraised and approved by NICE for routine use with NHS cancer patients.

READ MORE: New 'flexibility' gets two drugs on Cancer Drugs Fund early

Its positive recommendation means that NICE is three quarters of the way through the CDF with six more drugs left to approve. Companies like Bayer have provided discounts and additional evidence meaning the drugs can be considered as cost effective for routine NHS.

NICE director for health technology evaluation Professor Carole Longson said: ‘Working closely with companies and NHS England, we are delivering our promise to give people fast access to the most cost-effective cancer drugs.

READ MORE: Cancer Drugs Fund 'a huge waste of money'

‘More cancer drugs than ever are being recommended for routine use because companies are working hard to provide cost-effective solutions. We are also applying flexibility in cases where drugs show promise, meaning people get access through the new CDF while further data is generated.’

The CDF was established by the government in 2010 as a temporary solution to help patients to access cancer drugs that were not widely available on the NHS.

It quickly exceeded its original £200 million budget, but in 2016 reforms were put in place which required NICE to carry out appraisals for the drugs in the existing fund and all newly-licensed cancer drugs.

READ MORE: Nurses urged to engage on advisory committee policy

Sorafenib is recommended for some people with liver cancer that has progressed and is estimated to extend life by three months.

The guidance is now with consultees, who have the opportunity to appeal against it.

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