Andrew Lansley’s announcement that cancer patients in England will benefit from a £600 million fund to improve access to cancer drugs over the next three years has been welcomed by the James Whale Fund for Kidney Cancer.
The Fund has expressed some concern, however, that several health authority regions have published differing policies which may exclude certain cancer drugs. Such a move could leave patients without treatment and would be contrary to what the Prime Minister initially agreed to prior to the election.
The Fund has underlined its intention to follow developments closely to ensure that the Cancer Drugs Fund is used as efficiently as possible and that money is spent on keeping kidney cancer patients alive and not on unnecessary staff and administrative costs.
Rose Woodward, Head of Patient Support at the James Whale Fund for Kidney Cancer, said “On behalf of the kidney cancer patients we represent, we are very relieved to know the £200 million pounds for the Cancer Drugs Fund to be launched in April 2011 has been ringfenced.
In the current financial climate we feel an investment of £600 million pounds over 3 years is a clear commitment from the Government to ensure NHS cancer patients will finally be able to access the new and effective cancer treatments their Doctors want to prescribe.
This new money is over and above the normal NHS funding for cancer drugs. In reality it will mean countless UK cancer patients, who have previously been refused treatment for their disease, will now be able to have a good quality of life and the potential to spend more years with their families and loved ones. We intend to monitor the way the Cancer Drugs Fund operates to make sure kidney cancer patients in different parts of the country are treated equally.”
Source: The James Whale Fund