ESMO drives EU-level action to tackle shortages of essential medicines

April 09, 2019

Lugano/Brussels, 9 April 2019 - Shortages of essential cancer medicines have a direct impact on patient care across Europe. To ensure that this issue remains a top priority on the EU policy agenda, ESMO -the leading European professional organisation for medical oncology, collaborated with the European Parliament to organise a cross-partisan event entitled "Shortages of Inexpensive, Essential Medicines: Calling for Tangible Political Commitments in the EU" (9 April, Brussels) (1).

Shortages of inexpensive essential medicines have complex and multifactorial causes. In Europe, these often involve quality and manufacturing issues, including low profitability of inexpensive medicines and poor reporting mechanisms. In oncology, in particular, where there are often no alternatives to these medicines, shortages pose a threat to patient safety as they reduce adherence to therapy and limit the ability of physicians to provide effective treatment regimens.

Recognising that this issue cannot be addressed by any single country on its own, ESMO organised the meeting in Brussels to bring together Europe's prominent stakeholders on the topic and drive concerted and collaborative action at EU level.

Vlad Voiculescu, Chair of the ESMO Patient Advocates Working Group (2) as well as former Minister of Health of Romania, delivered the keynote speech at the event. A statement from the European Commission and a discussion with Member State representatives followed, with questions from the audience and an outlook on the next parliamentary legislature to conclude the working session. The meeting served also to launch a call to action (1) with recommendations for the 2019-2024 legislative cycle.

ESMO President Josep Tabernero commented: "Shortages negatively impact both the health of European citizens and the sustainability of the healthcare systems. The situation is dramatically impacting on cancer patients, as the medicines affected by shortages have few proven effective alternatives or no alternative at all. That's why ESMO is proposing a course of action with key steps to be taken in the near future."

Among other measures, ESMO recommends that a common European definition of medicine shortages be created and that EU-level strategic plans and actions be introduced to respond to such shortages. The Society will also advocate that, as a first important step, an EU-wide study be developed on the issue and its overarching impact on the European Union.

"This is a public health emergency," Tabernero emphasised. "The European Union has the competence to address market failures in this area, and ESMO can be a strong partner in developing practical solutions to prevent shortages going forward. I am confident that the discussions in Brussels will help to position inexpensive essential medicines as a key political priority for the EU legislature of the next five years."
-end-
Notes to Editors

References

(1) https://www.esmo.org/Policy/Anti-Cancer-Medicines-Availability/Inexpensive-Essential-Cancer-Medicines-Shortages

(2) ESMO Patient Advocates Working Group: https://www.esmo.org/Patients/Patient-Advocates-Working-Group

About the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO)

ESMO is the leading professional organisation for medical oncology. With more than 20,000 members representing oncology professionals from over 150 countries worldwide, ESMO is the society of reference for oncology education and information. ESMO is committed to offer the best care to people with cancer, through fostering integrated cancer care, supporting oncologists in their professional development, and advocating for sustainable cancer care worldwide. http://www.esmo.org

European Society for Medical Oncology

Related Oncology Articles from Brightsurf:

Study reveals impact of COVID-19 on oncology staff and their work
A study presented at the NCRI Virtual Showcase reports the results of a survey of oncology staff on their management of patients, their wellbeing and whether they felt valued during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Study of COVID-19 levels in oncology staff suggests need for more extensive testing
A study of oncology staff carried out immediately after the spring peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK indicates that many had been infected with the coronavirus as they tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies.

Troubled independent oncology practices in COVID-19 era
The financial risks and challenges for independent oncology practices in the COVID-19 era and possible solutions to promote their stability and survival are discussed in this Viewpoint.

FDA support for oncology drug development during COVID-19
This Viewpoint from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration puts into context recent guidance on clinical trials during COVID-19 for oncology and shares insight regarding regulatory challenges and lessons learned.

Novel immune-oncology approach for potential cancer treatment
A research collaboration between Monash University and Lava Therapeutics details a novel immune-oncology approach for the potential treatment of cancer.

ModGraProDep: Artificial intelligence and probabilistic modelling in clinical oncology
Improving the prediction of survival indicators in patients with breast cancer using tools from artificial intelligence and probabilistic modelling is the aim of ModGraProDep, an innovative system presented in a study led by Ramon Clèries, lecturer at the Department of Clinical Sciences of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences of the University of Barcelona and member of the Oncology Master Plan/ICO-IDIBELL.

Better outcomes, lower cost in first-ever oncology hospital at home evaluation
Researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah (U of U) presented the first outcomes evaluation of an adult oncology hospital-at-home program today at the 2020 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting.

Hippocampal avoidance during WBRT reduces risks on NRG Oncology trial
Results from the NRG Oncology clinical study NRG-CC001 concluded that lowering radiotherapy dose to hippocampal stem cells improves cognitive and patient-reported outcomes for patients with brain metastases.

Dozens of non-oncology drugs can kill cancer cells
Researchers tested approximately 4,518 drug compounds on 578 human cancer cell lines and found nearly 50 that have previously unrecognized anti-cancer activity.

10-year results of NRG Oncology/NSABP B-42 trial
In the updated results from NRG Oncology/NSABP B-42 trial through 10 years of observation, extending letrozole therapy for additional five years after five years of adjuvant endocrine therapy resulted in a statistically significant improvement in the 10-year disease-free survival (DFS) of postmenopausal women with hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer.

Read More: Oncology News and Oncology Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.