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Cancer experts, patients and industry applaud Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan and reemphasise the importance of measuring success


04 Feb 2021


Health & Consumers

EFPIA, the European Cancer Patient Coalition (ECPC) and the European Cancer Organisation (E.C.O.) have  applauded Europe’s new Beating Cancer Plan, and components emphasising the tracking of progress, such  as an Inequalities Registry, a Cancer Plan Implementation Group, and an enhanced European Cancer  Information System (ECIS). 

In taking forward these proposals, the organisations urge emphasis on early implementation consistent with  the principles of the European Cancer Dashboard, called for during the consultation period by all three organisations. A key role for the European Parliament, and its Special Committee on Beating Cancer, is  identified in agreeing core common indicators for dashboards supporting Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan,  alongside patients and the oncology community. 

With cancer set to become Europe’s leading disease burden, the case for concerted cooperation between  countries on tackling cancer has never been stronger. We applaud the initiative of the EU to create Europe’s  Beating Cancer Plan. The Plan will guide country efforts and includes commitment to shared goals and actions.  

At the European Health Forum Gastein in October 2020, we presented concepts and agreed principles for what  such a ‘dashboard’ approach to support implementation of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan could consist of.  There is now a great need to rapidly implement the Plan, especially in view of devastating setbacks to cancer  care caused by COVID-19. We believe the principles and approach we suggested last year can drive the  implementation of the dashboard elements of the Plan and bring visibility of the Plan’s progress to the  European public. 

The dashboard principles promoted by the 3 organisations include: 

Be public facing, easy for all to understand and use 

Every EU citizen should be able to follow the progress of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan. • Develop indicators in cooperation with stakeholders  

Including: Member State representatives, European Parliament, Commission and relevant EU agencies,  oncology experts, patients, healthcare professions, and healthcare industry. 

Build on pre-existing work  

Examples include the European Cancer Information System (ECIS), the European Core Health Indicator  series and Health at a Glance exercise. 

Be evidence based and continually evolve  

Cover the core areas of cancer care  

The Dashboard should be encompassing of the four main pillars of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan, with other  categories of attention also in focus such as patient involvement, burden of cancer, research activity,  knowledge and data.  

The organisations look forward to working with the European Commission, Member States, the European  Parliament and other stakeholders to help create a powerful monitoring tool to support the fullest and most  impactful implementation of Europe’s new Beating Cancer Plan. 

Beating cancer together  

Inspired by the momentum generated by Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan, we are committed to working even  more closely together to deliver better outcomes for people with cancer.

“With the Beating Cancer Plan, Europe launches a new era for cancer care and cancer patients. We should all  be ambitious and accountable. That’s why we as the bio-pharmaceutical industry are committed to working  with all stakeholders on the concept of a Cancer Dashboard where we set concrete and measurable targets to  prevent, treat and cure cancer”, says Nathalie Moll, Director General of EFPIA. “New innovation in  personalised oncology, gene therapies and combination therapies require innovative health systems, long term investment and strong partnerships. We are looking forward to working with all stakeholders to achieve  tangible progress for today’s and tomorrow’s cancer patients, keeping the EU at the forefront of research and  innovation.” 

“Nearly half of EU citizens will face cancer at some point of their lives. Without further action, cancer will  become the leading cause of death in Europe. We can reverse this trend, but I am afraid there is no room for  failure. The EU Cancer Plan must be a success and we need to measure this success through a multi stakeholder dashboard. We, European cancer patients, are ready to play out part and support in any way  possible the implementation of this monitoring system” said Antonella Cardone, ECPC Director.  

Dr Matti Aapro, President of the European Cancer Organisation (E.C.O.) said: 

“Setting common goals on cancer at the European level is a fantastic start, and we are delighted to see that  level of ambition and leadership in Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan. The next stage is driving forward the actions  required to meet those ambitions, and monitoring progress towards the achievement of the agreed goals. To  take the example of the excellent objective of eliminating HPV cancers as a public health problem in Europe,  this will be a true EU success story to speak of for generations if we take the pragmatic already-available steps  to get there. However, it also means we must track how we are doing on vaccination, screening, treatment  and awareness, to ensure no let-up in momentum occurs. EU level dashboard style monitoring mechanisms  supporting Europe’s common endeavours on cancer could create a powerful, even irresistible, impetus for  achievement.” 

For further information please contact:  

Agnese Abolina  

Communication and Community Manager, European Cancer Organisation 

+32 470 92 01 37  

Paulina Gono 

Partnerships and Communications Officer, ECPC 

+32 494 35 54 82  

Andy Powrie-Smith 

Executive Director Communications and Partnerships, EFPIA





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