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Pfizer responds to the Cancer Drugs Fund consultation proposals

On 11th February, NHS England and NICE closed a joint consultation on the future of the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF). This was a short, but critical window of opportunity for the cancer community to share its views and shape the future of NICE.

NHS England has now announced that the consultation response has been considered, and has outlined plans to implement the new CDF model with very few amendments. 

The decision by NHS England to approve the new Cancer Drugs Fund proposals will set the clock back on patient access to cancer medicines to a time before the CDF existed. The proposals have failed to address the fundamental issues with the way NICE assesses cancer medicines, meaning English patients will continue to be denied access to cancer medicines routinely used in Scotland and across Europe. This will cause patient outcomes here to lag even further behind other European countries.

We do not believe that, on balance, our views and the views of the many stakeholders from across the cancer community have been fully taken into account. It is unclear to us how NHS England could have taken into consideration – in just two weeks – the serious and complex concerns raised by nearly 300 stakeholders who responded to the consultation.

Pfizer is now calling on Government to intervene and urgently reconsider these proposals to ensure a sustainable solution for patients once and for all, one that will require urgent NICE reform as part of that solution. We are committed to working with them to achieve this. There is a new wave of treatments coming through which under this proposal may not be made available to patients in the UK - that’s why now is the time to get this right. We must find a long-term, sustainable solution, not only for cancer patients, but for all patients, once and for all.

Read more about Pfizer’s concerns on the CDF proposals and the impact they could have on patients.