Bayer’s Stivarga (regorafenib) will remain on England’s Cancer Drugs Fund as a treatment for gastrointestinal stromal tumours following an appeal against NHS England’s decision earlier this year to remove it from the list.
However, appeals for Eisai’s breast cancer drug Halaven (eribulin) and Lilly’s lung cancer treatment Alimta pemexetred were unsuccessful, and thus will no longer be available on the CDF from July.
Back in January, the decision to drop 16 different drugs, covering 25 indications, from the CDF in a move to cut costs was slammed by patients, healthcare professionals and industry groups, and raised questions over the validity of the Fund itself.
But Peter Clark, Chair of the CDF and a practising oncologist, said the decision-making process is “robust” and “evidence-based” and ensures that the drugs on the list “continue to offer the best clinical benefit, getting the most for patients from every pound that we have”.
“These are difficult decisions, but if we don’t continue to prioritise the drugs that offer the best value, many people could miss out on promising, more effective treatments that are in the pipeline,” he stressed.
The CDF is currently due to run until April 2016, but NHS England is currently working with charities, NICE, and the pharmaceutical industry, to develop a longer-term sustainable approach to the evaluation and commissioning of cancer drugs.