£750m cancer plan to save 5,000 lives by 2015

by Selina McKee ,  Pharma Times | 2011-01-13

The Department of Health has pledged £750 million to shake up cancer services and secure earlier diagnosis rates in a move it hopes will save 5,000 lives by 2015 and place England on a more level footing with many of its European peers.

While aspects of the cancer plan - such as the £200 million a year Cancer Drugs Fund, which aims to improve access to novel therapies whether they have been approved by an NHS cost regulator or not, and plans for improving cervical and bowel cancer screening programmes - have trickled into the public domain over the last few months, there are new elements to the strategy which have, on the whole, been received positively.

Perhaps the key theme of Improving Outcomes – A Strategy for Cancer is to achieve much faster detection of cancers in order to improve treatment outcomes, but, broadly speaking, the proposals also aim to get people living healthier lives to reduce the number of preventable cancers, as well as ensure that patients receive the best possible treatment, care and support to give them the best chance of recovery.

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