AMMF signs Joint VBA Statement

Following the recent announcement by the Department of Health concerning the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF), many of the member organisations of Cancer52*, including AMMF, were concerned by the section regarding the removal of clinically effective drugs from the CDF should another drug be deemed more clinically effective, and by the section concerning the future of the Fund after March 2016.

(To read the DoH announcement, click here)

The worry in the former is that the replacement drug could be for any type of cancer, not necessarily for the type which it is displacing. With the latter a decision on the future of the Fund could, of course, be that it be allowed to expire.

A proportion of the drugs in the Fund are drugs that NICE have judged to be clinically, but not cost, effective.

Cancer52 members are aware that, with negligible differences in drug development costs between anti cancer drugs for large and small patient populations, rare cancer drugs tend to be expensive and therefore likely to be judged not to be cost effective by NICE.

Taken together, a changed environment for the operation of the CDF and the fear that little will change in NICE committees’ decision making when VBA (Value Based Assessment) begins, it is not difficult to imagine that accessing anti cancer drugs will become more uncertain than at present, especially for those for rare cancers.

Cancer52 has prepared a Joint VBA Statement, alongside Genetic Alliance UK, signed by its member organisations, including AMMF, and this was submitted on Friday 12 September to Sir Andrew Dillon, Chief Executive at NICE and Professor David Haslam, Chair of NICE.

To read the Joint VBA Statement, click here

*Cancer52 is an alliance of 80 organisations representing the rare and less common cancers and works to address the inequalities in representation and funding across all areas, including policy, services and research, and to improve outcomes for patients with these highly challenging diseases.  AMMF is a member of Cancer52.


September 2014