Cancer experts, patients and industry applaud Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan and reemphasise the importance of measuring success
EFPIA, the European Cancer Patient Coalition (ECPC) and the European Cancer Organisation (E.C.O.) have applauded Europe’s new Beating Cancer Plan, and components emphasising the tracking of progress, such as an Inequalities Registry, a Cancer Plan Implementation Group, and an enhanced European Cancer Information System (ECIS).
In taking forward these proposals, the organisations urge emphasis on early implementation consistent with the principles of the European Cancer Dashboard, called for during the consultation period by all three organisations. A key role for the European Parliament, and its Special Committee on Beating Cancer, is identified in agreeing core common indicators for dashboards supporting Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan, alongside patients and the oncology community.
With cancer set to become Europe’s leading disease burden, the case for concerted cooperation between countries on tackling cancer has never been stronger. We applaud the initiative of the EU to create Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan. The Plan will guide country efforts and includes commitment to shared goals and actions.
At the European Health Forum Gastein in October 2020, we presented concepts and agreed principles for what such a ‘dashboard’ approach to support implementation of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan could consist of. There is now a great need to rapidly implement the Plan, especially in view of devastating setbacks to cancer care caused by COVID-19. We believe the principles and approach we suggested last year can drive the implementation of the dashboard elements of the Plan and bring visibility of the Plan’s progress to the European public.
The dashboard principles promoted by the 3 organisations include:
- Be public facing, easy for all to understand and use
Every EU citizen should be able to follow the progress of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan.
- Develop indicators in cooperation with stakeholders
Including: Member State representatives, European Parliament, Commission and relevant EU agencies, oncology experts, patients, healthcare professions, and healthcare industry.
- Build on pre-existing work
Examples include the European Cancer Information System (ECIS), the European Core Health Indicator series and Health at a Glance exercise.
- Be evidence based and continually evolve
- Cover the core areas of cancer care
The Dashboard should be encompassing of the four main pillars of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan, with other categories of attention also in focus such as patient involvement, burden of cancer, research activity, knowledge and data.
The organisations look forward to working with the European Commission, Member States, the European Parliament and other stakeholders to help create a powerful monitoring tool to support the fullest and most impactful implementation of Europe’s new Beating Cancer Plan.
Beating cancer together
Inspired by the momentum generated by Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan, we are committed to working even more closely together to deliver better outcomes for people with cancer.
“With the Beating Cancer Plan, Europe launches a new era for cancer care and cancer patients. We should all be ambitious and accountable. That’s why we as the bio-pharmaceutical industry are committed to working with all stakeholders on the concept of a Cancer Dashboard where we set concrete and measurable targets to prevent, treat and cure cancer”, says Nathalie Moll, Director General of EFPIA. “New innovation in personalised oncology, gene therapies and combination therapies require innovative health systems, long-term investment and strong partnerships. We are looking forward to working with all stakeholders to achieve tangible progress for today’s and tomorrow’s cancer patients, keeping the EU at the forefront of research and innovation.”
“Nearly half of EU citizens will face cancer at some point of their lives. Without further action, cancer will become the leading cause of death in Europe. We can reverse this trend, but I am afraid there is no room for failure. The EU Cancer Plan must be a success and we need to measure this success through a multi-stakeholder dashboard. We, European cancer patients, are ready to play out part and support in any way possible the implementation of this monitoring system” said Antonella Cardone, ECPC Director.
Dr Matti Aapro, President of the European Cancer Organisation (E.C.O.) said:
“Setting common goals on cancer at the European level is a fantastic start, and we are delighted to see that level of ambition and leadership in Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan. The next stage is driving forward the actions required to meet those ambitions, and monitoring progress towards the achievement of the agreed goals. To take the example of the excellent objective of eliminating HPV cancers as a public health problem in Europe, this will be a true EU success story to speak of for generations if we take the pragmatic already-available steps to get there. However, it also means we must track how we are doing on vaccination, screening, treatment and awareness, to ensure no let-up in momentum occurs. EU level dashboard style monitoring mechanisms supporting Europe’s common endeavours on cancer could create a powerful, even irresistible, impetus for achievement.”