I am writing regarding the Public Accounts Committee’s review of the Cancer Drugs Fund and to provide additional information on Novartis’ views on the future of the Fund.
Since 2010, the Cancer Drugs Fund has helped ensure that thousands of patients have benefitted from life-extending cancer drugs. However, while the fund has benefited a large number of patients, it was only ever intended as a stop-gap pending a wider re-examination of NICE and its processes. The CDF in its current form is no longer fit for purpose and is now a barrier to patient gaining access to the latest treatments.
As you know, NHS England published its plans for the future of the CDF shortly after the Committee announced its review. While Novartis broadly welcomes the proposals set out in the consultation we have outlined some elements of the proposals that give reasons for concern. We hope you will bear them in mind during your consideration of the Fund.
We are developing ideas to address these issues in a way that should be acceptable to all stakeholder and I would be very happy to meet with you to discuss our initial response in more detail.
11 December 2015