Today, is World Cancer Day and yesterday, the European Commission published its Beating Cancer Plan. The Commission's proposal contains many elements designed to make life easier for patients, relatives, carers and survivors, including: An EU platform to improve access to cancer medicines aimed at supporting the re-purposing of existing medicines; and a Cancer Diagnostic and Treatment for all initiative for improving access to innovative cancer diagnosis and to reduce unequal access to personalised medicine and cancer care.
Tilly Metz MEP, Greens/EFA Member of the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee and of the Special Committee on Beating Cancer, comments:
"The Commission's Beating Cancer Plan is welcome and can help pave the way for better quality of life for patients, carers and survivors of this horrible disease. It's positive that the Commission is looking at ways to improve access to innovative diagnostics and cancer drugs, and to reduce inequalities through access to medicine and personalised cancer care. However, there is a worrying lack of concrete measures to reduce the high costs and therefore the accessibility of cancer treatments.
"The Commission should include stronger measures to work on accessibility issues, including revision of Intellectual Property rights and actions to encourage cross-border clinical trials for 'orphan drugs' that are used to treat rare medical conditions. The Commission should also revisit the proposal in order to grant formal status to informal carers such as family members who often have to give up their job to take care of their loved ones.
"The Plan represents a good basis for better research, prevention and treatment. Through the special committee on Beating Cancer, the Greens/EFA group will continue to fight for the accessibility of treatments for all types of cancer, a reduction of disparities between Member States and for greater recognition of informal carers."
World Cancer Day/Beating Cancer Plan - quote from Tilly Metz MEP