Cancer Lottery - JOIN campaign asking for fair consideration of new drugs required to treat rarer cancer patients in the UK


Many will have been following the unsatisfactory way in which new drugs for CLL are being assessed and Ibrutinib not gaining a favourable preliminary recommendation at this stage of the assessment process by NICE is of real concern. Recent de-listings of CLL drugs from the Cancer Drugs Fund are adding to worries that this trend could continue after the 1st of July.

CLLSA would like to respond to all this and recommend members who can take a little time, Join the Leukaemia Care campaign with us to ask for fair consideration of new drugs for rarer cancers like CLL.

Leukaemia CARE is calling for a separate appraisal process to be introduced by NICE to consider drugs developed for patients with rarer cancers. NICE are the body responsible for determining which drugs are funded by the NHS.

Under the new system for funding and appraising cancer drugs (coming into effect on July 1st) NICE are due to begin assessing ‘all cancer drugs’. Previously they did not appraise drugs with small patient populations, because applying standard assessment methods to small groups of patients (such as rare cancers) “would result in us always recommending against their use. This would be unfair.” These are the words of Andrew Dillon, the Chief Executive of NICE.

NICE not recommending these drugs for patients in England (which may be approved in Scotland or Wales - by the Scottish Medicines Consortium or All Wales Medicines Strategy Group)  would create further inequalities in access to life-extending cancer treatment throughout the UK, creating a “Cancer Lottery”.

These changes could impact on the access to drugs for rarer cancer patients (including many blood cancers) because drugs for rarer cancers are not appraised fairly. To help ensure that UK cancer patients can access the most effective treatment options, join us and let’s put an end to this #CancerLottery.

Anyone wishing to help share the message of the campaign should promote the:


Additionally, please get in touch with Leukaemia CARE directly at