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Cancer: Drugs

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN HL956, tabled on 29 January 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by the Institute of Cancer Research From patient to patient: analysing access to innovative cancer drugs, published on 28 January.

Answered on

5 February 2020

The Government wants all National Health Service patients, including patients with cancer, to be able to benefit from rapid access to effective new medicines. The Institute of Cancer Research’s report analyses the timescales for the introduction of cancer drugs that received a licence from the European Medicines Agency between 2000 and 2016. It does not take account of significant more recent developments introduced by the Government that are already delivering faster access to new cancer drugs for NHS patients.

In 2016, new arrangements were put in place for the assessment and adoption of new cancer drugs, including a reformed Cancer Drugs Fund. Since the new arrangements were introduced, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended 75% of new cancer medicines for use in the NHS compared with 47% in 2012/13 and the forecasted mean time from a new cancer drug receiving its licence to published final NICE guidance in 2020/21 is now 1.5 months.