ECPC President Francesco De Lorenzo and ECPC Vice President Kathi Apostolidis met this morning MEP Giovanni La Via, Chairman of the ENVI Committee of the European Parliament.

Prof De Lorenzo thanked President La Via for his constant support and high sensitivity to the issues faced by European cancer patients. On the occasion of the World Cancer Day, President La Via wished to discuss with the representatives of more than 10 million European citizens affected by cancer the fundamental issues related to the work and competences of the European Parliament.

The discussion touched upon the most important issues faced by European cancer patients, and moved to ECPC suggestions to strengthen EU and Member States capacity to act in line with the European Cancer Patient Bill of Rights. Prof De Lorenzo and President La Via agreed on the need to increase the efforts to implement the Cross Border Healthcare Directive, the centrepiece granting freedom of movement to European patients. In particular President La Via agreed with Prof De Lorenzo that the Directive is fundamental also to protect the rights of rare disease patients, in particular rare cancers, and joined Prof De Lorenzo’s high expectations for the mis en place of the European Reference Networks.

Furthermore, the parties analysed the outcome of the latest ECPC event on cancer care inequalities. Prof De Lorenzo underlined the need to include economic and technologic assessments within the EMA process of drugs authorisation. President La Via welcomed the suggestion with interest, showing his willingness to open a debate on the role of the EMA.