Thank you to everyone who took the time to complete our survey on the future of the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF). We have now responded to the Government's consultaion on the CDF and used what you told us throughout.
The CDF exists in England only. Avastin (bevacizumab), which can offer women with advanced ovarian cancer (Stage III/IV) up to nine months overall survival, is currently available through the CDF for first line treatment. Under the current proposed reforms there is a risk that Avastin might not be available to women diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the future. However, all women with ovarian cancer currently receiving Avastin will continue to be able to access it.
Two simple changes are needed to ensure Avastin continues to be available to women with ovarian cancer.
- The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) needs the power to be able to approve drugs for use off-license. Avastin has been shown to be equally effective at a 7.5 mg/kg dose as at a 15mg/kg dose, yet currently is only licensed at 15mg and therefore this is all NICE can approve it at. By giving NICE the same flexibility as the CDF, which can approve drugs for use off-license, NICE would have the power to approve Avastin at the less expensive dose.
- NICE needs flexibility of reimbursement. In laymen’s terms, this means NICE needs the power to negotiate on price. This is something the CDF currently has and helps make Avastin affordable.
These two simple steps would ensure Avastin continues to be available to women living in England.
If you would like to do more, then you can email your MP asking them to write to the Secretary of State for Health asking for these two simple changes that would guarantee the future for Avastin for women with ovarian cancer living in England.