A new drugs fund worth £ 340million will be used by the NHS to speed up the monitoring of rare disease patients so they can get new drugs and treatments that have not yet been approved .
NHS England has confirmed plans to create an Innovative Medicines Fund, which was a clear commitment from the Tories in 2019, to work alongside the existing Cancer Drugs Fund, for a combined total of £ 680million .
The money will be used to give patients access to treatments such as gene therapy and drugs where they are believed to benefit patients but have not yet met the requirements for routine use in the NHS.
This will open up the possibility of new treatments for many more patients with rare diseases other than cancer.
The Cancer Drugs Fund was created in 2010 by the coalition government of the day to fund drugs deemed too expensive for the NHS. It has proven to be controversial and has been criticized as an inefficient way to allocate NHS money in a way that offers the most benefit.
NHS England said CDF would be guaranteed funding separately from the new pot, for a combined total of £ 680million in ring-fenced money.
NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said: ‘The NHS long-term plan leads to rapid access to innovative and cutting-edge therapies, at the same time as the NHS is also treating more than 400,000 hospital patients with Covid and provides the fastest and largest vaccination campaign in our history.
‘Over the past year, NHS England has successfully negotiated deals for a range of new treatments, including drugs that could keep toddlers with spinal muscular atrophy walking on’ the world’s most expensive drug. world ”, as well as giving CF patients the option of the latest medications for their wasting disease. This new fund will build on these successes, offering hope to even more patients. “
There will be a consultation on the new fund which will operate in the same way as the cancer fund. Provide access to treatments while more data is being collected and ensure that their cost and longer-term use is of good value to the NHS.
Over the past five years, the Cancer Drugs Fund has provided treatment to more than 64,000 people who otherwise might not have been available for years.
Health and Social Affairs Secretary Sajid Javid said: “The Innovative Medicines Fund is another example of the government’s implementation of its overt commitments, and it will significantly reduce the time needed for new medicines. most promising to reach patients, including children and people with rare diseases. diseases, saving lives and giving many people hope for a healthier future.