The Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) was established in England to provide patients with faster access to innovative cancer treatments that show promising early results but have significant remaining clinical uncertainty. The CDF was reformed in 2016 to include clearer entry and exit criteria and to better define the process of data collection and reassessment.

In this paper we look at the 18 appraisals that had entered and exited the CDF between June 2016 and April 2022 to provide insights on what manufacturers can expect from the CDF and to understand whether the CDF is operating optimally to resolve genuine uncertainty in submissions. To do this we looked at the following areas:

  • Overall success of CDF resubmissions: The proportion of submissions that received a positive recommendation
  • Predictive ability: Changes in life years (LYs) and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) between the initial submission and subsequent resubmission
  • Time taken to resolve uncertainties: The time spent by treatments in the CDF process and any remaining data uncertainties identified by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence at CDF exit

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