Tackling the challenges of Europe’s second biggest cause of death requires collaboration, partnership and novel approaches. That is the goal of the EFPIA oncology platform which brings together EFPIA member companies aiming to transform the lives of patients diagnosed with cancer.
Cancer care in Europe: Where are we in 2020?
Cancer remains the second most common cause of death in the EU and its incidence is on the rise. It is closely linked to demographic and lifestyle trends which are likely to persist or even amplify in the future. Furthermore, major disparities exist in access to cancer care and overall survival rates across Europe. Five-year survival rates for colon cancer range from 70% in Iceland to 50% in Croatia. If we all raised our game to the standard set by Iceland, an additional 15,706 people would survive for at least five years after diagnosis.
To find out more about the impact of cancer in Europe click here.
But a brighter future is on the horizon
The absolute number of people diagnosed with cancer rose around 50% in Europe over the past 20 years – for a range of reasons including population ageing, lifestyle factors and earlier diagnosis. However, the number of deaths only increased by 20%. Allowing for population growth and ageing, in real terms cancer deaths are actually falling.
We are in an era of unprecedented innovation in treatment for patients, reflecting the intensive investment that has been made in the discovery and development of new approaches to the treatment of all forms of cancer and the investments that continue to be made by health systems to improve access, screening and early diagnosis. We will continue to invest in cancer research, pushing the boundaries of our understanding of cancer, how it develops and how it can be effectively treated. You can find out more about individuals commitment to tackling cancer here.
New gene and cell-based therapies are also being introduced, providing a potential one-off curative treatment for some cancers. As a result of these innovations in treatment, cancer is increasingly transforming from an acute into a chronic disease.
However, this innovation is also arriving at a time when many governments are maintaining flat or declining healthcare budgets. Despite the growing incidence and relative burden of cancer, the spending on cancer care has remained more or less flat around 6% of total healthcare expenditure on average in the EU over the last 20 years. Considering that cancer is set to become disease burden #1, we must consider how to combine political will with efficient investment of financial resources in prevention, diagnosis, treatment and survivorship – for the benefit of cancer patients.
What can we do to address the significant personal and economic burden posed by cancer in Europe?
There is no value from innovation if patients for whom it is intended, do not have access to it. Realising the opportunities of innovation in cancer care and addressing the barriers to effective patient access requires concerted efforts from the entire cancer community. EFPIA’s Oncology Platform welcomes the renewed focus on cancer expressed by the EU institutions and Member States. Through our work with the cancer community, we have identified three priority areas for change to ensure we harness the progress achieved to date and promote future advances in cancer care:
- Improving the sustainability and integration of cancer care: In response to the growing incidence and prevalence of cancer, policy-makers at European and national level need to appropriately prioritise it, including sufficient levels of funding for cancer prevention, screening, treatment and survivorship.
- Accelerating the time it takes to get new treatments to patients: To enable timely patient access to promising new treatments, regulatory, healthcare technology assessment and payer decision-making processes need to evolve, recognising the need for patient-focused assessments of benefit, consideration of novel surrogate endpoints, comprehensive patient approach and appropriate data monitoring to confirm expected benefits over time.
- Developing tailored pricing and reimbursement models for cancer medicines: Novel pricing and payments models have the potential to further accelerate patient access, allowing payers to manage clinical uncertainty, budget impact and sustainability of healthcare systems, whilst providing sufficient incentives for innovation. We stand ready to work with the stakeholder community to encourage the wider and appropriate adoption of these models by healthcare systems across Europe.
These priorities are delivered through the following work-streams:
The oncology data landscape is fragmented and rapidly evolving, and it can be difficult to have a clear view of the area. Yet effective collection and use of oncology data is essential for diverse improvements in research, treatment, and the efficient running of health systems.
To address this lack of clarity, the EFPIA Oncology Platform has undertaken a research project on the ‘Oncology Data Landscape’. This research has included interviews with a wide range of stakeholders and experts on oncology data.
The project provides a mapping of oncology data sources and initiatives in Europe, and explores ways to make the use of oncology data more effective for patients and health systems. The overall report and narrative should help anyone looking for an overview of the situation of oncology data in Europe. The other materials cover specific aspects in more depth. And looking ahead, the project identifies strategic solutions that could help to improve the current situation.
The project comprises the following resources:
- Overall report: a detailed summary of the research conducted for the Oncology Data Landscape project
- Oncology data narrative: a short, overview presentation on the background to oncology data, main challenges to its use, and proposed solutions
- Data sources and initiatives: summary of data sources and archetypes, use cases for oncology data, and profiles of initiatives that are seeking to transform the way oncology data is used
- Barriers: Overview of barriers to the collection and use of oncology data
- Trends: Identification of trends affecting the health data landscape in Europe
- Strategic solutions: Gaps and opportunities in the oncology data landscape based on use cases and barriers, with three potential initiatives described in detail
- Country profiles: Summary of characteristics of 10 countries in their use of oncology data
So much more to be done. Now is the time, there is a sense that we are approaching a period where political momentum in Europe is gathering behind better cancer care: Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan.
A European Cancer Plan must reflect the lessons of this new report. It should address prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment and survivorship. It should address inequalities in access and outcomes. It should be a clear and actionable political statement about tackling cancer. And it should enhance collaboration among stakeholders.
We are excited about exploring new partnerships with new stakeholders, who are just as committed as we are to improving the prognosis for cancer patients.
To access more information on the work, publications and latest reports from the group, take a look at the downloads section.
- Comparator report on cancer in Europe 2019 get_app
- Master slide deck - Comparator Report on Cancer in Europe get_app
- Infographic Comparator report on cancer in Europe get_app
- Taking action on cancer together delivering the future of cancer medicines in Europe get_app
- Unleashing the potential of data to improve cancer care get_app
- EFPIA Clinical Trials get_app
- Time to patient access get_app
Everyday counts: 9 reasons why patients wait longer to get access to new cancer medicinesWorking together to jointly identify factors which cause access delays, and co-create solutions that could accelerate time to patient access24.01.20Read Article
Cancer care in Europe: Where are we in 2020?Creating more moments that matter: Cancer death rates are falling thanks to advances in prevention, diagnosis and treatment15.01.20Read Article
A European Cancer Plan – For better, more equal access to cancer care (Guest blog)In a joint effort, ECCO, ECPC and EFPIA have recently put the European Cancer Plan on the agenda of a session of the European Health Forum Gastein.18.12.19Read Article
Precision oncology: The right treatment to the right patient at the right time (Guest blog)A new position paper highlights the value of personalised oncology treatments and biomarkers – and proposes concrete steps to accelerate their introduction.12.12.19Read Article
Everyday counts: time to patient access to innovative oncology therapies in EuropeWhat factors delay access to new cancer medicines across Europe? Which best practices and what recommendations can improve time to patient access?04.12.19Read Article
Time is life (Guest blog)From a societal perspective, the new wave of personalised medicines and cell and gene therapies offer real hope to patients with cancer. Our unwavering focus must be to deliver these innovative treatments to the people who need them most, and that means moving swiftly and doing things differently. Right now.03.10.19Read Article
A busy year, before a hectic autumnOur Oncology Platform has tackled several topics from big data and AI to drug pricing and improving patient outcomes.25.07.19Read Article
Cancer data: Are you ready to meet your DigiTwin? (Guest blog)Predictive computer models will guide clinical decisions, helping clinicians choose the most effective prevention and treatment options for you12.06.19Read Article
Rethinking access to medicines in Lithuania (Guest blog)Lithuania is on the cusp of a major overhaul of its Health Technology Assessment (HTA) system. The changes, due to begin in July, reflect wider shifts in how quickly patients in the Baltic state will access innovative therapies in the years ahead06.06.19Read Article
Blinded by the light (Guest Blog)A first step towards trust could be a transparent conversation about the principles we as stakeholders have in common. The EFPIA Oncology Platform sees itself as an attempt to do so. One such principle is certainly: that there is no valuable innovation without a patient who can access and benefit from it06.06.19Read Article
‘Three more months is a lot if you have six months to live’ (Guest blog)Bettina Ryll, a medically-trained scientist, started the Melanoma Patient Network Europe after her husband died of the disease. She knows the value of extending survival and improving quality of life29.05.19Read Article
Cancer medicines: Why we must strengthen the link between price and value (Guest blog)A WHO Technical Report on pricing of cancer medicines has raised questions for its unorthodox view of value-based pricing. The report is critical of what it sees as industry over-investment in cancer medicines R&D and what is portrayed as excessive return on investment23.05.19Read Article
Unlocking the potential of cancer data: Announcing the Oncology Data SummitA catalyst for improving the use of data to deliver better outcomes for cancer patients25.04.19Read Article
At the crossroads of health inequalities in cancer (Guest blog)Improving health outcomes is a joint responsibility and requires collaboration amongst all stakeholders in health24.04.19Read Article
How should we value the innovative cancer medicines that are transforming patient outcomes?While our scientists, doctors and patients push the boundaries of medical science, it is crucial that we have evidence-based conversations about how to bring evidence-based medicines to those who need them28.03.19Read Article
There is plenty of buzz around genomics yet access to testing and treatments is still a challengeHow can Europe ensure that also European cancer patients benefit from those new treatments?14.02.19Read Article
#WorldCancerDay: We aim to create a world without cancerTo mark World Cancer Day, 4 February, Kees Roks from Novartis Oncology assesses the big trends shaping the future of cancer care.04.02.19Read Article
Data pointsA blog by Deepak Khanna, Senior Vice President and Regional President, EMEAC Oncology for MSD01.02.19Read Article
Three steps to better cancer outcomesThe impact of cancer is growing but stakeholders are coming together to chart a course to a sustainable new approach to care04.02.19Read Article
Data: our secret weapon in the war on cancer (Guest blog)The digital revolution is coming for cancer – but only if we fix how we collect and use data05.12.18Read Article
#WeWontRest until cancer is nothing to fearTackling the challenges of Europe’s second biggest cause of death requires collaboration, partnership and novel approaches07.09.18Read Article
A guest blog from the UICC World Cancer CongressBreakthroughs are happening. Some are incremental. Some are transformative. One thing is certain #WeWontRest until cancer is nothing to fear.03.10.18Read Article
Taking action on cancer together - delivering the future of cancer medicines in EuropeThe 2018 of the European Health Forum Gastein edition focused on “Health and Sustainable Development - Bold political choices for Agenda 2030”16.10.18Read Article
How to improve patient care by accelerating the development, delivery and uptake of personalised medicine and diagnostics? (Guest blog)Reflections from the European Congress on Personalised Medicine06.12.18Read Article