On Tuesday 25th April 2017, the European Cancer Patient Coalition presented the White Paper "Value of Innovation in Oncology", its vision for sustainable, equitable and accessible innovation of cancer care in Europe, including 10 sets of recommendations to the EU and Member States. The event was kindly hosted by MEP Elisabetta Gardini (EPP, Italy) in collaboration with MEP Lieve Wierinck (ALDE, Belgium).
Today, European cancer patients are facing a paradox: New treatments exist thanks to advances in the understanding of cancer biology. From immuno-oncology to the latest radiotherapy machines, from robotic surgery to eHealth tools, innovation is bringing added value to cancer patients throughout their journey. However, these treatments are not equally available to all cancer patients who could benefit from them.
There is not just one recipe to solve this problem. Harmonisation of HTA, better access to innovative treatments, increases in healthcare budgets, and disinvestment strategies are all useful tools to fight this paradox. However, Europe still lacks a grand plan to ensure that innovation in cancer care is accessible, sustainable and, at the same time, decreases the current unacceptable level of inequalities in cancer care.
The event welcomed a panel of top experts in the field of cancer, health economics, public health, and patients' rights discussing the recommendations of the White Paper.
The objective of the meeting was to raise awareness of cancer patients' vision of innovation in oncology, in view of future EU initiatives related to cancer and innovation, such as the next EU Joint Action on Cancer, harmonisation of HTA, health in the European Semester, access to medicines, and more.
Meeting supported by AstraZeneca, Merck, Pfizer