The Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) have announced that Cabazitaxel, an important prostate cancer drug, is now being reinstated on the CDF, having previously delisted the drug in March 2015. Tackle Prostate Cancer can take significant credit for this decision, having campaigned vigorously through the media, and gaining support from well-respected oncologists for its reinstatement. This is a victory for common sense and for those patients desperately needing Cabazitaxel as a lifeline.
At the same time the CDF have announced the removal of radium-223 (Xofigo®) from November 2015, although it will remain to be available for patients already receiving the treatment. Although Tackle Prostate Cancer is disappointed to learn of this delisting, the good news is that radium-223 has passed the final appraisal stage by NICE and is expected to be available through normal NHS channels from January 2016. We will be following this closely to ensure this happens.
What this announcement confirms is that the current CDF process is not working well for patients, for clinicians, and for the powers that be. It is recognised that a new model needs to be put in place that allows patient access to innovative drugs, but one which is cost-effective based on agreed patient-driven criteria. Tackle Prostate Cancer will continue working with other charities in the Cancer Coalition to provide patient input to the development of this new model.