We know that the issue of access to drugs is a concern for many people. This week, we have written to the PM, along with 8 other cancer charities, to express our concerns about the changes being made to the Cancer Drugs Fund. You can read more about this, as well as our views on this issue more generally, on our blog http://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/news/blog/cancer-drugs-fund-update-0
As mentioned below in this thread, the Labour Party has announced plans for a Cancer Treatment Fund (CTF), to replace the Cancer Drugs Fund when it comes to an end in 2016. The CTF will also fund radiotherapy and surgery, as well as drugs. At the moment we don't have much more detail than this.
We're continuing to monitor the situation and highlighting the possible impact of these changes on people affected by breast cancer. Ultimately, we want every patient across the UK to benefit from new approved treatments, so will continue to do what we can to ensure that this happens.
You asked about Northern Ireland - In Northern Ireland, the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety have responsibility for deciding which drugs are available, but may take into account NICE Guidance (which apply to England) when making decisions.
I hope this is helpful. Do get in touch with our team firstname.lastname@example.org with any comments or feedback on how these changes affect you. The more we hear from you, the stronger is the case we're able to put to policymakers.
What really puzzles me is that the general public are constantly being asked to give to cancer charities to help with research into cures etc.; when cures or better medications are developed it is the general public who have to fight for treatments not people with the money to buy it. That seems very unfair to me. Not that I think people who can afford private care should not have access to drugs either it is really that we the general public who support these causes are being denied or indeed have to go cap in hand for treatment. Things are certainly not what they should be. Sorry for rant.
The article I read which I assume is what everyone else read:
The article mentions Kadcyla in particular (the only cancer drug it mentions) and the only pictures within the article are of breast cancer.
It seems to me (or maybe I'm paranoid) that this article is suggesting, once again, that breast cancer is getting too much attention and funding. The bits that concerned me most were (italics are my thoughts):
"The problem with cancer policy under the current government is that it prioritises one form of cancer treatment over others and places one group of patients ahead of another.' - what group would that be then?
"This is indefensible when we know surgery and radiotherapy are responsible for nine in ten cases where cancer is cured. - Sod those that can't be cured.
"It is not right that 40,000 people every year who could benefit from radiotherapy are missing out."
A Conservative spokesman said: "This represents a huge u-turn for the Labour party, who only a few weeks ago said they didn't support the Cancer Drugs Fund in England and are still denying it to NHS patients in Wales' - What is supposed to happen to them?
The good bit was more attention placed on teenage cancer patients.
Ladies you are all right in what you say. I live in Scotland and I can tell you despite having a fantastic oncologist looking after me I cannot access further treatments unless I go public or cap in hand. I feel very discriminated by all of this. I have attempted to raise this as an issue with my MSP who is an Scottish Nationalist but to no avail. So no matter what they say before elections the proof is in the pudding. Take care all.
Its slightly bizarre that labour are making this promise....but the labour administration in Wales do not support a drugs fund at all.......the best we couls get out of the Welsh chief pharmacist and Chief medical officer was that drugs may be funded on a drug by drug basis as cost effectiveness is looked at by NICE.........the worry for the ladies outside of England is that Drug fund money for these drugs actually encourages the drug companies to keep costs up...cos no matter whether NICE approves or not the drugs get prescribed......having said that if they are not prescribed in England its even less likely they will be prescribed in other areas of the UK......I hate to say it but it does sound rather like an "election promise"