How does the current Cancer Drugs Fund system work?
Currently the NHS spends about £1.3 billion a year to provide cancer drugs to patients as a prescription, since it took over the Cancer Drugs Fund in 2013.
Since then the Cancer Drugs Fund has added an extra £200m each year to pay for drugs that otherwise wouldn’t have been available to patients on the NHS due to high costs and/or rarity.
Some people hold the opinion that because the NHS is willing to pay so much, it’s causing drug companies to up the price as they can make more profit. There is also controversy over the decision to introduce price restrictions, and whether this will work to encourage companies to lower the cost of their drugs, or whether it will just damage patient care.
People are asking for a long-term replacement to the current system. In the meantime, you can find Life Insurance that will be specifically tailored for cancer patients and survivors here.
The price restrictions on the drugs that will be available on the NHS Cancer Drugs Fund has resulted in the removal of some treatments from the scheme.
For example, one of the drugs that was removed, Zaltrap, a drug that can extend life for patients suffering from bowel cancer has been removed from the system, meaning that patients will receive other treatments in the meantime.
The new drugs and the replacement drugs bought in by the NHS for the Cancer Drugs Fund will be evaluated on their price, as well as their effectiveness.
With frequent stories of NHS cuts and falling standards in hospitals across the UK, it’s becoming a much more unreliable service for both small accidents to serious illnesses. Even with staff working their hardest, with finances being cut, can you be sure that you’ll receive the highest level of care?
For many of us these changes mean little to us at the moment. But what about the future? According to Cancer Research UK, 1 in 3 of us will experience some form of cancer in our lifetimes. Meaning that you or someone close to you will most likely go through the journey at some point. Knowing that the NHS is struggling to provide cancer treatment drugs isn’t an overly comforting thought.
Critical Illness and Terminal Illness cover are types of protection which will help you afford the cost of private medical care and medicines/treatments that won’t be available on the NHS or may have been unaffordable without medical insurance protection.
Critical Illness Cover pays a sum of money (or monthly payments) should you be diagnosed with a critical illness within the time that you’re paying for the cover. Different insurers will classify different illnesses as critical so it’s important that you check with your chosen insurer exactly which illnesses are covered, but generally a critical illness is described as life threatening, but not diagnosed as terminal with a specific life expectancy determined. Generally there are around 40 or more illnesses covered by this type of insurance.
Terminal Illness Cover is paid out in the event of the insured person being diagnosed with a terminal illness, meaning they only have a set amount of time to live. The money is paid out when the insured person is still alive and seeking financial support for medical treatments or to support the sufferer’s family, rather than paying out after death as a Life Insurance policy would.
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