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Smarter use of generic, biosimilar and value added medicines will ensure equitable access to cancer care


04 Feb 2021


Health & Consumers

Europe’s Beating Cancer plan is a welcome milestone to drive focused policy frameworks for cancer care in Europe. To achieve its mission, the cancer plan must support sustainable policies that improve access to generic, biosimilar and value added medicines. 

Medicines for Europe has established a checklist of key policies which must be implemented to ensure equity and quality of cancer care is achieved. These are:

  • Finding synergies and sharing best practices  
  • Comprehensive uptake policies for off-patent medicines
  • EU and national cancer strategies promoting the use of off-patent medicines  
  • Removing barriers after expiry of Intellectual Property (IP)
  • Adapting EU framework to develop value added medicines

Commenting on the launch of Medicines for Europe policy paper and on World Cancer day, association President Christoph Stoller (Teva) said “Cancer is one of the most burdensome health challenges of our time. We have made incredible scientific advances in our understanding and treatment of cancer, but we still face gaps in equity of access to existing treatments. We should find solutions for the access gaps and creating an agile policy for off-patent medicines in the EU Beating Cancer Plan would be a very good place to start.

Medicines for Europe Vice-President James Burt (Accord) said “The outbreak of COVID-19 has caused really unfortunate delays in cancer care. We cannot leave this community behind. Our call to European policy makers is to implement a cancer plan which prioritises access to medicines, in crisis times but also well beyond.”

The Medicines for Europe policy paper: Filling the Gap: How off-patent medicines can improve the equity and quality of cancer care can be accessed here

Medicines for Europe

Medicines for Europe represents the generic, biosimilar and value-added medicines industries across Europe. Its vision is to provide sustainable access to high quality medicines, based on 5 important pillars: patients, quality, value, sustainability and partnership. Its members directly employ 190,000 people at over 400 manufacturing and 126 R&D sites in Europe and invest up to 17% of their turnover in R&D investment. Medicines for Europe member companies across Europe are both increasing access to medicines and driving improved health outcomes. They play a key role in creating sustainable European healthcare systems by continuing to provide high quality, effective generic medicines, whilst also innovating to create new biosimilar medicines and bringing to market value added medicines, which deliver better health outcomes, greater efficiency and/or improved safety in the hospital setting for patients. For more information please follow us at and on Twitter @medicinesforEU.