Lessons from England’s Cancer Drug Fund

Richard Smith

Oncologist Siddhartha Mukherjee calls cancer “the emperor of all maladies” in his Pulitzer-prize winning book on the history of cancer. (1) Despite about half of patients surviving 10 years after treatment, cancer is still the most feared of diseases and the one most associated with death in the public’s mind. When hospices first began in Britain they treated only patients dying of cancer. It was the public anxiety about cancer that led David Cameron, Britain’s eventual prime minister, to promise in an election campaign the creation of a special fund for cancer drugs. The Cancer Drugs Fund began in 2010.

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