My thanks again go to Mark Garnier MP for asking these written questions for us in Parliament. It’s vitally important that we keep asking questions, forcing answers (even if we don’t like them) and giving this cause as high a profile as we can manage. These answers are recorded for posterity in Hansard and we can refer back to them any time. Hansard is the name of the printed transcripts of parliamentary debates in the Westminster system of government. It is named after Thomas Curson Hansard, an early printer and publisher of these transcripts.
Kris

22 Apr 2013 : Column 753W
Leukaemia

Mark Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what steps he has taken to ensure that those diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia have access to a wide range of treatment options, including Dasatinib’ [151773]

(2) what recent discussions he has had to ensure that those diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia have access to a wide range of treatment options, including Dasatinib. [151774]

Norman Lamb: The Mandate to NHS England clearly states the need to improve access to treatment for people when they need it.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued technology appraisal guidance that recommends the drugs imatinib and nilotinib for use in the treatment of chronic myeloid leukaemia. NICE guidance does not recommend dasatinib as a clinically and cost-effective use of national health service resources.

Commissioners are under a statutory obligation to provide funding for such treatments and drugs recommended by NICE within three months of the guidance being published.

Patients have a right under the NHS Constitution to clinically appropriate drugs and treatments recommended by NICE technology appraisal guidance.

Since October 2010, the £650 million Cancer Drugs Fund has helped over 28,000 patients in England to access the drugs their clinicians believe will help them. NHS England has now taken on oversight of the fund, bringing even greater consistency to decision making.

The Secretary of State for Health, the right hon. Member for South West Surrey (Mr Hunt), has had no recent discussions about this matter.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmhansrd/cm130422/text/130422w0007.htm#13042383001683

 

22 Apr 2013 : Column 735W
Cancer: Drugs

Mark Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to the Cancer Drugs Fund, as announced by the NHS Commissioning Board, whether access to some treatments previously available through the fund will be restricted. [151790]

Norman Lamb: Since NHS England took on oversight of the Cancer Drugs Fund from 1 April 2013, it has published a national list of cancer drugs covered by cohort policies on its website at:

www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/ncdf-list.pdf

We understand that the great majority of cancer drugs previously funded by strategic health authority panels are on this cohort policy list, supporting timely and consistent access. Clinicians can apply to the national Cancer Drugs Fund for the inclusion of a drug within the approved cohort list.

Regional clinical panels will continue to consider individual patient applications where a patient is considered to be exceptional to a cohort, policy or where use under a cohort policy has not been considered due to the rarity of the condition.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmhansrd/cm130422/text/130422w0006.htm#13042383001615