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Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that a fund which will provide access to expensive cancer drugs could be in operation by the end of the year.
The start date for the scheme is April next year but Mr Cameron told MPs in the House of Commons that he is to hold talks with Health Secretary Andrew Lansley as he wants it to be up and running this year.
Mr Cameron added: “If it can be done, it will be done. I will do everything I can to make that happen.”
The fund will provide pricey medications for cancer treatment through the NHS if they have been prescribed by a doctor and the coalition Conservative-Liberal Democrat Government have been under pressure to speed up its implementation.
Mr Cameron’s announcement comes after drug rationing body the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) rejected breast cancer drug lapatinib for use in the NHS in England. It said high costs and the fact sufferers only see life extended by a few weeks were behind its decision, denying up to 2,000 women with advanced breast cancer possible access.
Copyright Press Association 2010
National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence