About A2M TF
Established in 2016, the ECL Access to Medicines Task Force aims to make safe and effective medicines available to all cancer patients in Europe, by insisting on accessibility, availability, affordability and increased transparency related to medicine prices, ultimately leading to sustainability of healthcare systems. The Task Force strongly believes in the power of constructive dialogue. We urge all stakeholders to push for accessibility to high quality treatments, improving both survival and the quality of life of cancer patients. ECL Task Force connects 29 national/regional cancer societies in 25 European counties, representing over 500 million Europeans.
Introductory Word from the Task Force Chair
The ECL Access to Medicines Task Force has become a prominent voice in the drug pricing European debate. We should not underestimate the power of 29 cancer leagues sending the same message to their national governments, European policy-makers, the pharmaceutical industry and other stakeholders: we are worried about the high price of cancer treatments and we expect concerted action to keep these accessible for every citizen.
Thanks to the enthusiasm and motivation of the Task Force’s first Chair, Ms Eveline Scheres, a lot was achieved in 2016-18. To name a few achievements: we were able to publish a White Paper on tackling challenges in access to medicines for all cancer patients at the European Parliament, and start a constructive dialogue with the pharmaceutical industry about price transparency and fair pricing.
It is a great honour for me to chair the Task Force in the coming years – which promise to be both challenging and exciting. A new generation of promising treatments, the so-called cell therapies, is hitting the market. The price of these treatments, however, goes well beyond €300,000 per patient. The access gap between European countries is deepening. The pressure on solidarity-based healthcare systems will grow. That is why we need a strong an alliance of cancer societies advocating for transparency and fair pricing for cancer medicines and treatments.
Cancer and access to cancer treatments will be high on the European agenda, as the new Commission announced the launch of Europe’s Beating Cancer plan and a new pharmaceutical strategy later in 2020. Our priority to influence such Plan and Strategy. As a first step, we published our recommendations in the ECL’s position paper. The Task Force will continue to make its voice heard and support collaborations between countries to keep drugs affordable and help to develop recommendations and ideas to reinforce these collaborations and convince more countries to join them. We will also take a position on what is a fair price for a cancer treatment and continue dialogues with the pharmaceutical industry.
I am looking forward to cooperating with committed and knowledgeable people from around Europe and am sure that we’ll be able to make a difference in the coming years.
Chair, ECL Access to Medicines Task Force