European Cancer Organisation

NEWS: ECCO on Access: it is about more than pharmaceuticals!

International government dialogue is required to ensure patients have access to all forms of treatment, not only pharmaceutical treatment. This was a central message from the European Cancer Organisation (ECCO) in response to a consultation by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on sustainable access to innovative therapies.

The OECD has been commissioned by the French Government to promote international dialogue on access to innovative pharmaceuticals and sustainability of pharmaceutical spending. The initiative was endorsed by OECD member countries and by Health Ministers at the G7 Health Ministerial meeting in September 2016. 

The recent OECD consultation sought to collect the views of stakeholders on the topic of access, including the 170,000 healthcare professionals represented by ECCO, who work daily to provide the best quality cancer care to patients across Europe.

Commenting on the ECCO response, Professor Philip Poortmans, President-Elect of ECCO and Chair of the ECCO Oncopolicy Committee, said:

“We very much welcome and support this initiative by the French Government and OECD to help take the international debate on access further towards resolution.

However, best care to patients isn’t by pharmaceutical therapy alone. Pioneering technology and service development in other areas can radically improve quality, outcomes and safety as well. The debate about access is therefore about much more than just medicines.

ECCO’s submission to the OECD made this point clearly and will be further developed in a forthcoming paper on Access to Innovation in the European Journal of Cancer.

ECCO’s mission of improving cancer patient outcomes through multidisciplinarity demands we unite the views of cancer healthcare professionals on access. Access will therefore be a priority topic for ECCO in what we hope can be a year of positive change. Initiatives such as those by the OECD can be crucial in summoning and sustaining the political will for change.”

Download ECCO's response to OECD Access consultation  here.

About ECCO
Through its 25 Member Societies - representing over 170 000 professionals - ECCO is the only multidisciplinary organisation that connects and responds to all stakeholders in oncology Europe-wide.

ECCO is a not-for-profit federation that exists to uphold the right of all European cancer patients to the best possible treatment and care, promoting interaction between all organisations involved in cancer at European level.

It does this by creating awareness of patients’ needs and wishes, encouraging progressive thinking in cancer policy, training and education and promoting European cancer research, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and quality care through the organisation of international multidisciplinary meetings.

About the OECD consultation
Further information about the OECD consultation on sustainable access to innovative therapies is available here.

For further details, please contact:
Agnese Abolina
Communication and Marketing Coordinator
ECCO – European Cancer Organisation 
Tel +32 2 775 02 01   

Page last modified: