EFPIA and the EFPIA Oncology Platform Congratulate the European Commission on its proposal for a Council Recommendation on Cancer Screening
EFPIA and the EFPIA Oncology Platform welcome the Commission’s proposal for a revised Council Recommendation on Cancer Screening published on 20 September 2022. 20 years on since the last recommendation, this long-awaited milestone is an important step in meeting the ambition of the EU Beating Cancer Plan that aims to address challenges related to cancer diagnosis and treatment in the European Union in a holistic way to improve patient outcomes. The current level of cancer screening varies widely across the EU Member States and screening participation has declined significantly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Evidence suggests that 100 million people failed to undergo vital screening tests potentially compromising their chances of effective treatment.
EFPIA and its Oncology Platform congratulate the European Commission for fully aligning with the policy recommendations issued by Science Advice for Policy by European Academies (SAPEA), which called for improving existing screening programmes for breast, colorectal and cervical cancer, and for the introduction of screening programmes for lung, prostate, and gastric cancer.
The Commission’s proposal is an important step forward to ensure people across Europe benefit from the latest innovation in screening and we believe the European Union has a crucial role to play in supporting the coordination of cancer screening efforts across the EU. We therefore encourage the European Commission to conduct periodic reviews of the implementation of the Recommendation, and to adapt it in a timely manner according to new scientific evidence.
Nathalie Moll, Director General of EFPIA emphasised that “by implementing robust and comprehensive cancer screening programmes in line with the EU Commission recommendations, the EU and its Member States can lead the way in the global fight against cancer. Early detection through screening will improve patients’ chances of receiving treatment at the earliest possible opportunity, bringing hope for many patients and families.”
It is now a matter of urgency for the Council of the European Union to act and reach a swift agreement on the Commission’s proposal. We stand ready to collaborate with both the Council and the European Commission to allow the Recommendation to become a reality via improving and setting up screening programmes. Ivana Cattaneo, Chair of the EFPIA Oncology Platform states, “We are committed to our continued investment in R&D to ensure that patients diagnosed early through screening programmes have the best possible treatment options to help them live longer and healthier lives. We look forward to the speedy adoption of the Recommendation and its implementation in the EU Member States.”