, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 1–4 | Cite as

The New and Non-Transparent Cancer Drugs Fund

  • Eifiona M. Wood
  • Dyfrig A. HughesEmail author


The Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) in England was established in 2011 to facilitate access to cancer medicines that were not routinely available on the National Health Service (NHS). By 2015/2016, the cost of the CDF had reached £1.27 billion [1], and its value has been criticised extensively [2, 3, 4]. Since July 2016, a new arrangement that involves the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in the appraisal of CDF medicines has come into effect [5]. Medicines on the CDF as of 31 March 2016 were appraised by NICE and their continued funding was dependent on an expenditure control mechanism to prevent overspend, as had happened in previous years (e.g. by £126 million [37%] in 2015/2016). Under the current scheme, new cancer medicines may be recommended by NICE for routine commissioning (if considered to be clinically and cost effective), recommended for use within the new CDF (if there is good potential, but considerable clinical uncertainty), or not...


Author Contributions

EW and DH made substantial contributions to the conception and design of the work, and the acquisition, analysis, and interpretation of data; drafted the work and revised it critically for important intellectual content; approved the version to be published; and agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflicts of interest

Eifiona Wood and Dyfrig Hughes declare they have no conflicts of interest.


Dyfrig Hughes is a Senior Research Leader at Health and Care Research Wales.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Health Economics and Medicines EvaluationBangor UniversityBangorUK

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