Following the launch of the national Cancer Drugs Fund in April 2011, the NHS in the East Midlands is to receive £11.6 million to give patients greater access to drugs recommended by their doctors.
The funding has been granted to the East Midlands from the Government’s multi-million pound Cancer Drugs Fund, of which £140 million has been allocated nationally. A further £60 million may be allocated nationally by the Government later in the year.
The launch of the fund follows the £4.2 million East Midlands Interim Cancer drug Fund which operated from October 2010 until 31 March 2011.
The new regional fund will follow the same format as the Interim Cancer Drug Fund. It will be led by a clinical panel with local cancer specialists in charge of deciding how funding is spent for the maximum benefit of patients locally.
The Fund covers the resident populations of Leicestershire, Rutland, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire. From 1 April 2012, patients who are registered with a GP in the Milton Keynes area are also now served by the East Midlands Cancer Drugs Fund which is the responsibility of NHS Midlands and East SHA Cluster.
The fund is designed to improve access to drugs not already routinely available. Its purpose is to supplement the work of Primary Care Trusts, not to replace the existing local processes known as Individual Funding Requests (IFRs) that currently run to enable patients to access cancer treatment.
It is important to remember that although the extra money will potentially extend life or improve the quality of life for a small number of additional patients this is not an exhaustive fund. The crucial factor to treating cancer successfully is early diagnosis and prevention wherever possible.
In the East Midlands we are continuing to focus on improving access to cancer screening programmes and appropriate diagnostic tests as well as supporting people to make lifestyle changes such as stopping smoking that will reduce their risk of getting cancer.
It is always recommended that if you are concerned about your health you seek medical advice as early as possible.
Click on the links in the boxes below for more information about how the fund works.
If you are a clinician who would like to make an application to the East Midlands Cancer Drugs Fund on behalf of your patient please email emsha.EMCDF@nhs.net and you will be sent the appropriate form to complete.
Also if you have any further queries which are not answered by the information on these web pages please email the above address.
Fast track forms and other information can be found by following the link below: