At least £140 million is expected to be released into the NHS over the next five years from price discounts negotiated for medicines commissioned via the new Cancer Drugs Fund.

NHS England says it has secured discounts on eight treatments previously funded via the old CDF, which will generate additional savings for the NHS.

Since the new CDF in was rolled out in July 2016, nearly 15,700 patients have benefited from the 52 drugs treating 81 different types of cancer, of which around 5,000 received treatment sooner than they would have under old system.

Also, under the new system, the appraisal process begins much earlier for newly referred drugs, with the aim of publishing draft guidance before drugs receive their license, NHS England noted.

Patients are benefitting from new cancer drugs at least four months earlier under the reformed CDF than was previously the case, and all cancer treatments recommended by NICE are now available as soon as positive draft guidance is published, it claims.

“Alongside the new look process, tough negotiations and flexibility are leading to more deals with pharmaceutical companies achieving real value for money for the NHS, meaning the new Fund is not only benefiting patients, but industry, the NHS and the taxpayer too,” noted John Stewart, director of Specialised Commissioning at NHS England.