Costly cancer drugs may be cut from special funding list - (The Guardian via NewsPoints Desk)

  • More than 40 cancer drugs will be assessed for cost-effectiveness to determine whether they will remain eligible for coverage through the UK's Cancer Drugs Fund, The Guardian reported Wednesday.
  • A number of drugs, including Roche's breast cancer therapies Kadcyla and Avastin and the prostate cancer treatment Jevtana, could be cut from the list of covered drugs if drugmakers decline to lower their prices.
  • All of the medicines covered by the Cancer Drugs Fund were rejected for general NHS use by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, which argued that the treatments' benefits do not justify their high prices.
  • "We're deeply concerned that several very effective breast cancer drugs appear on the list of drugs at risk of delisting due to their high price," said Caitlin Palframan, senior policy manager for the charity Breakthrough Breast Cancer.
  • "A long-term solution is urgently needed that delivers an overhaul of the way new cancer drugs are appraised," commented Prostate UK chief executive Owen Sharp, adding "we will be holding NHS England, NICE and the government to their commitment to work closely with patients and clinicians to make this happen."
  • A Cancer Drugs Fund Panel is scheduled to meet next month to determine which drugs will remain eligible for coverage, with their decisions published next year.

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