£50m for new cancer drugs

Mike has welcomed the news the Coalition Government will be funding cancer drugs previously deemed ‘too expensive’ by Labour.

Andrew Lansley, the Secretary of State for Health, is creating a fund of £50 million to immediately pay for cancer drugs that were unavailable to patients when Labour were in power. In the long-term the Government will create a Cancer Drug Fund, which, as in other European countries, will allow doctors to prescribe their patients the most effective drugs without being constrained by local budgets. 

Previously the National Institute for Clinical Care, a Government appointed body, ruled what drugs doctors could supply across the entire country.  The provision of drugs is seen as the weak-link in Britain’s cancer care, with UK citizens’ access to drugs lagging far behind that of other developed nations.

Speaking after the announcement Mike said, “This is a big shift of power so patients and their doctors make decisions about treatment.  Under Labour professional judgement and patients’ individual needs were quashed under a national body that rationed care.”