ELCC 2019 - Many problems with accessibility to lung cancer care in low and middle income EU countries


  • Michael Simm
  • Oncology Conference reports
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Takeaway

The Lung Cancer Europe Report on Inequalities in Lung Cancer identifies disparities in diagnosis, care, and treatment across the EU and managed to put the topic on the parliament’s agenda. The most effective, but also probably the most difficult to achieve is providing access to early diagnosis.

Why this matters

There is a strong correlation between the wealth of nations and life expectancy. New drugs have increased the options for the treatment of lung cancer. Progress, however, also depends on the affordability/reimbursement of these drugs and on an appropriate infrastructure for diagnosis, therapy, and care.

Study design

Presentation of the LuCE Lung Cancer Europe Report on Inequalities in Lung Cancer including a personal update.

Key results

  • Access to early diagnosis is hampered by a lack of screening programmes and fear of the diagnosis of a presumably untreatable fatal disease, resulting in delays in diagnosis.
  • There is limited access to vital information from molecular testing results and CT, and to clinical trials.
  • Even if molecular testing is available, the lack of reimbursement still has a negative impact on its use.
  • With few exceptions, erlotinib, gefitinib, afatinib, and crizonib are all available in western EU countries and Turkey, while they are not available or only partially available in former Eastern Bloc countries.
  • As an example, innovative drugs are available to just 20% of lung cancer patients in Poland.
  • Also, access to radiation therapy is limited in virtually all eastern EU countries, while there are overcapacities in some central European countries and Scandinavia.

Funding

Lung Cancer Europe is a nonprofit organization whose activities are funded by balanced support from the following companies: Amgen, AbbVie, AZ, BI, BMS, Lilly, MSD, Merck, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche, and Takeda.