Last month We reported about the results of the CLLSA appeal and members' campaign letters to MPs and Ministers seeking to prevent CDF delisting of drugs to treat CLL. The CLLSA chairman’s update letter of 14th November 2015 summarises the CLL specific outcome and next steps. Together we will keep up pressure and continue with pressing for access. As part of our campaign we are working with other charities as a member of the Blood Cancers Alliance.
Blood Cancers Alliance (BCA) update: Government response to Cancer Drugs Fund petition on blood cancer
As a member of the Blood Cancers Alliance (BCA), an informal coalition of charities representing the blood cancer community, CLLSA wrote an open letter to The Times newspaper on the Cancer Drugs Fund and the removal of blood cancer drugs from the list.
The letter was also sent directly to the Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt and Prime Minister David Cameron. Attached was a petition containing around 27,000 signatures, calling for the Government to review their decision to remove blood cancer drugs from the list.
The BCA has received a response to the letter and petition from Minister of Life Sciences George Freeman MP, as he has a remit for the Cancer Drugs Fund. He is also overseeing a comprehensive review of the access to medicines system, known as the Accelerated Access Review, so he was considered best placed to answer the letter.
You can see a copy of the response here. [Link to PDF- attached below]
Over the course of 2016, the BCA will be continuing work on the Cancer Drugs Fund and representing the interests of blood cancer patients, both collectively and as individual charities. This is particularly relevant as the letter does not address the issues that the letter and petition raises.
For more information on the future of the Cancer Drugs Fund, NHS England and the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE – the drug approval body in England and Wales), has recently issued a consultation document on a new operating model. You can find out more information about this here.
As part of the NHS consultation CLL support Association will be assessing the proposals in detail over the next few weeks, attending briefing meetings and are preparing a CLLSA consulation response and continuing to work with the Blood Cancers Alliance. Further information will be published in due course.