Josep Tabernero, MD, PhD of Vall d'Hebron University Hospital, Barcelona, Spain follows on from the press brief by Prof. Lidija Kandolf-Sekulovic on availability and affordability of melanoma medicines. Dr Tabernero explains that the results of this survey are close to the results they found in a recently published survey in terms of affordability and availability of cancer medicines in Europe. He also highlights that in some countries, access varies by region. The aims of the survey he discusses was to provide clear data on affordability and availability of these drugs and provide information for policymakers. Dr Tabernero summarizes the findings: there was a large difference in availability and out-of-pocket cost, in particular between Eastern and Western countries. Further, some drugs that are considered essential are affected and not neccesarily because they are expensive. Further, the disparities mainly affect patients with rare or metastatic diseases. He then discusses the ESMO goals to promote sustainable cancer care and ensure equal access. He also highlights that ESMO recently launched the ESMO Magnitude of Clinical Benefit Scale, which is an important tool for assessing the efficacy and safety of drugs.
Recorded at the 2016 annual meeting of the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO), held in Copenhagen, Denmark.