In Northern Ireland, the Department of Health reviews recommendations by NICE. Usually NICE's decision also applies in Northern Ireland.
The Cancer Drugs Fund
The Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) was set up in 2010 to give people in England access to some cancer drugs not normally available on the NHS.
The fund underwent major changes in 2016. As a result, NICE can now recommend that promising new drugs be available through the CDF even though there is still uncertainty about their clinical effectiveness. During the drug’s time on the CDF, often for around two years, more evidence is collected on the drug. NICE then assesses the drug again and makes a final decision on its future use on the NHS.
While the CDF covers England, the drugs on the fund also benefit people in Wales and Northern Ireland. In Wales, drugs on the CDF are covered by the New Treatment Fund, while the Northern Ireland Department of Health gives access to drugs recommended for use on the CDF.