Lung Cancer Europe Report launched in the EU Parliament – Lets Reduce Disparities: What Must We Do?

PRESS RELEASE : For the second consecutive year, the Lung Cancer Europe Report was officially launched during an event in the EU Parliament, hosted by Mr. Alojz Peterle, President of MEPs Against Cancer Group and attended by relevant stakeholders. Nov. 7th. 2017
The 2nd Report of LuCE focuses on the persisting disparities among European lung cancer patients in terms of access to diagnostics, innovative drugs and healthcare services. As patients and patient advocates, we are actively  committed to working together with other partners in order to address these challenges  and to ensure that the unequal condition of lung cancer patients in EU is being prioritised in legislation and regulations.
Between 2010 – 2014, 49 new cancer medicines were launched, but only 6 countries had access to at least half of them, as showed by Prof. Tanja Cufer during her lecture and the availability of lung cancer molecular tests and the radiotherapy facilities were not equally provided in every country.
Patients, politicians, physicians, patient advocates, media, pharmaceutical industries and economists, attended this event, in which the current lung cancer scenario and the reasons of the unequal  accessibility to diagnosis, care and treatment in Europe were discussed and analyzed  from different perspectives.
According to Mr. Peterle, “it is strongly important to continue with such meetings in order to raise the public, but primarily the political awareness on important issues such the access to new treatments”. He thanked Lung Cancer Europe for organizing this event and for promoting early diagnosis and equal chances for all patients, two important goals that require policy and decision makers must work together in order to respond these needs.
“Improving the access to medicines is indeed a multi-stakeholder responsibility”, as stated from Malvika Vyas, ESMO Head of Policy that added “major societies, including ESMO, share the will and the responsibility to lead the public policy debate on equitable access to anti-cancer therapies across borders”.
“This report will play a crucial role in informing the policy makers and we urge all supporting organizations in every country to use this report for making some changes in the national lung cancer environment”, declared Regine Deniel Ihlen, lung cancer survivor and LuCE treasurer.
This was an excellent opportunity to launch the calls for action. Stefania Vallone, LuCE’s President encouraged the attendees to give a step forward, and try working together to get improvement in access to innovative therapies and healthcare services, ensuring sustainability of different health-care systems and tackle the burden of this disease, offering more equal conditions to thousands of individuals across Europe affected by lung cancer. The call to action – LET´S REDUCE DISPARITIES: WHAT MUST WE DO? is focusing  on the following aspects:
  • Close the current gaps in access to treatment,
  • Collection of systematic data,
  • Common guidelines to set standards of care,
  • Financial sustainability of healthcare systems,
  • Patient involvement.
This report aims to be a tool for different national and EU level stakeholders, used as a source of reliable data to show how  the problem is severe and how it requires to be addressed very soon.

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