England's Cancer Drugs Fund cuts 25 approvals from list of covered meds

England's Cancer Drugs Fund unveiled its final list of cuts for covered meds, axing 25 cancer indications to make room for new products and save an estimated £80 million ($121.3 million) a year. The fund was expected to go over budget by £100 million in 2014/2015, and will still increase spending to £340 million next year despite the coverage shift. The news sparked the ire of industry groups and charities, which claim the cuts will leave cancer patients without critical treatments--the CDF's covered list now includes 62 approved indications, rather than its original 84. For example, Novartis' ($NVS) Afinitor will still be covered for pancreatic cancer, but not breast cancer. Professor Peter Clark, chair of the fund, said that the restrictions make room for other, promising treatments for patients. "These are difficult decisions, but if we don't prioritize the drugs that offer the best value, many people could miss out on promising, more effective treatments that are in the pipeline," Clark said in a statement. Statement | List (PDF)

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