Two potentially life-extending secondary breast cancer drugs – everolimus (Afinitor) and eribulin (Halaven) – are to remain on the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) after an appeal from the pharmaceutical companies that produce them.
The CDF gives patients in England access to drugs that otherwise wouldn't be available through the NHS. The review that led to plans to remove these and other drugs from the fund was announced by NHS England in January.
After a worrying few months it will be an enormous relief for people living with secondary breast cancer to hear this news.
However it is unacceptable that so many patients had to go through this period of uncertainty and live with the fear that the drugs they so desperately need would be out of reach.
It is also unacceptable that others will still be denied the chance of improved quality of life as effective treatments for a range of other cancers are still being removed from the fund today.
This entire process shows that the Cancer Drugs Fund is on rocky ground and a long-term sustainable system must be found. This can’t be delayed any longer it needs to happen now.
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