We should give more money for cancer drugs
THE Cancer Drugs Fund in England (CDF) has been given another £200million a year by the Prime Minister for life-enhancing drugs to continue until 2016.
This is very good news especially for patients with the rarer forms of cancer who maybe do not have access on the NHS to the treatments they need.
The more common cancers such as breast cancer have a better success rate because, firstly, it is more publicised and, secondly, the NHS pays for many of the drugs used to treat and cure this disease.
The CDF was set up in 2011 to help patients access certain drugs that they cannot get on the NHS.
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So far, 30 drugs are available from the Cancer Drug Fund and 34,000 people have been treated.
The aim of the CDF is to make it easier for medics to prescribe treatments even if they have not been approved by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).
As of April, there is a national list of drugs available through the fund and if you meet the criteria for one of the named drugs on the list you should be able to get it on the NHS.
However, in my view, patients should not have to go through the dreadful stress of having to first see their GP and then to get the approval from the their cancer consultant to agree to use and try the chosen drug from the CDF.
Cancer patient Steve Evans, who was interviewed on BBC Breakfast on Saturday, September 28, said that when you first get the diagnosis of cancer, the first question you ask is: "Can I be cured?" and then: "What is the treatment?"
It sounds simple when you put it like that but what if there is a treatment but the treatment is not on the NHS and you cannot get it through the Cancer Drugs Fund?
The lucky ones can pay privately but depending on your income and circumstances the future is pretty bleak if the drug you need is unavailable.
The Government sends billions of pounds to overseas aid but, in my opinion, this should be scrapped or at least halved.
We should be giving much more money to the NHS for expensive cancer drugs which would give each individual patient a better quality of life which is only what they deserve.