Case study

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Generating the evidence to support policies on new medicines

Research shows the general public does not support preferential funding for cancer

Prescription medicines are the most common healthcare intervention in the NHS, costing £14bn annually. Bangor University is leading on the development of evidence-based policies for deciding how the NHS should allocate resources for new medicines. One such example is the Cancer Drugs Fund, which in England ring-fences £280m per annum for cancer drugs that have not been approved by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Studies conducted at Bangor University, however, found that the general public does not support preferential funding for cancer – the majority want equal division of resources between cancer and non-cancer treatments – nor for treatments (usually for cancer) that extend life, at the end-of-life. Referring to our work, the former Minister for Health and Social Services for Wales said:

“This research clearly shows the public supports our evidence-based approach to providing excellent, high quality care for cancer patients in Wales. That is why we have rejected the notion of a Cancer Drugs Fund in Wales”

Bangor’s research was also cited by Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Health & Wellbeing during parliamentary debate that led the Scottish Government to conclude that:

“the establishment of a cancer drugs fund in Scotland would not be the answer”