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Comparison of patients' access to new and better cancer drugs reveals inequalities between countries

in cancer research between Europe and the USA. Dr Jnsson said: "Not only is the magnitude of public research at a different level in the United States, it is also directed to clinical research to a greater extent. There is a need for a significant increase in the public research for cancer in Europe, particularly devoted to clinical research."

The authors make a series of recommendations for ensuring that patients can have equal and rapid access to new cancer drugs. They include:

  • Reducing the review time for the marketing authorisation of new cancer drugs;

  • Ensuring that once authorisation is obtained, the drug is available at national level without further delays due to price and reimbursement negotiations;

  • Ensuring that any economic evaluation or health technology assessment is done quickly to facilitate, and not delay, patient access;

  • Ensuring that appropriate and adequate funding for new, innovative cancer drugs is available in the health care system and hospital budgets, preferably on a proactive basis and not reactive basis i.e. by planning ahead.

Dr Jnsson concluded: "We believe that the inequalities between countries in patients' access to cancer drugs cannot persist. Cancer patients will not accept that a standard of care available in one country is not available in other countries. Research on patient access to new treatment is a new and important part of translational cancer research."


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Contact: Emma Mason
wordmason@mac.com
44-077-112-96986
European Society for Medical Oncology
9-May-2007


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