An international report that claims the UK has among the worst access to cancer drugs is 'flawed' and 'inaccurate', the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has said.

NICE chief executive Andrew Dillon spoke out after the organisation was criticised in the report for showing 'no evidence' that it was providing faster access to treatments.

The report, published in the Annals of Oncology and sponsored by drug firm Roche, ranked the UK in the bottom group for 'slow and low' uptake of drugs in 25 countries.

But Mr Dillon said: 'This drug industry-sponsored report is flawed, inaccurate and directly contradicts itself in places.

'NICE has sped up access to effective cancer treatments, Herceptin for breast cancer being a case in point.'

Mr Dillon said the use of NICE-recommended cancer drugs is 'higher than ever' and the report itself acknowledged that the taxanes group of drugs had 'achieved more rapid use in the UK due to the positive NICE assessment and guidance'.

The report also 'fails to acknowledge' NICE's rapid appraisal process, he said.

Mr Dillon added: 'It is the job of NICE to put the health of patients and the public first, not the profits of the pharmaceutical industry.'