A RAFT of new cancer drugs are being turned down unnecessarily or restricted to small groups of NHS patients in England, the Tories have said.

Shadow Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, said doctors should have a more powerful role in deciding which drugs to prescribe.

It comes amid calls for more drugs to be funded on the NHS to help treatment for cancer patients.

Witney MP and Conservative Party leader, David Cameron, met campaigners for kidney cancer drugs in Witney, where he outlined a plan for a cancer drugs fund.

He said: “We have a problem in Britain that other European countries are doing better than us at giving people longer, happier lives with cancer than we are.

“So we want to get more drugs to people more quickly. In the UK today, there are some people, thousands of people, who want a certain cancer drug, whose doctors tell them they should have a certain cancer drug, who don’t get it.

Conservatives calculate shadow chancellor George Osborne’s announcement last week that he would reverse the bulk of Labour's planned 2011 National Insurance rise would save the NHS £200m annually in reduced staffing costs.

Clive Stone, 62, of Freeland, was diagnosed with the condition in 2007, but said he was still having to fight to receive the medication he needed.

Mr Stone said: “The gap between us and Europe is getting worse. One of the proposals we’re making is that the authorities ought to be looking at the relationship between the NHS and drugs companies. The NHS has to use its buying powers.”

Speaking to Mr Stone, who set up Justice for Kidney Cancer Patients three years ago, Mr Cameron said the drugs fund was “the right thing” to do.

Mr Stone told Mr Cameron drug companies were withdrawing trials of drugs in the UK because they were not being approved by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence.

A Department of Health spokesman said: “Not only are we taking action to speed up the process of Nice approval, but where flexible approaches to pricing can be agreed they can offer the potential for more drugs.”