Patient Advocate Statement on Improved Access to Oncology Medicines
February 3, 2024
Patient Advocate Statement on Improved Access to Oncology Medicines

As representatives of patients and advocates, we are deeply committed to ensuring equitable access to essential oncology medications for all patients burdened by the challenges of cancer, especially for those living in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) who face significant barriers to adequate healthcare. While advancements in oncology treatments have significantly improved patient outcomes, access barriers continue to prevent many individuals from receiving timely and affordable access to these life-saving medications. Patients deserve better.

Therefore, we ask the pharmaceutical industry to work with us to #CloseTheCareGap and to act upon their responsibility to support patients globally. In particular, there is need to address and improve on the lack of availability of medicines in LMICs that bear 80% of global cancer deaths.

  1. Investing in research and development for LMIC-specific needs: Allocate resources for research and development of treatments tailored to prevalent cancers in LMICs and include patient needs in the design and implementation of products developed.
  2. Expanding affordable access: Enable broader access to more patients by prioritizing affordability, based on patients’ ability to pay rather than willingness to pay, and enabling broader global access using voluntary licenses for increasing availability of cancer products.
  3. Facilitating technology transfer and capacity building: Support initiatives that facilitate technology transfer and build local manufacturing capacities in LMICs to enhance accessibility to affordable generic versions of essential oncology medications.
  4. Engage in action-oriented partnerships with local public and private actors: Collaborate with international organizations, governments, and non-profits to devise strategies that enhance supply chains, reduce trade barriers, and ensure the efficient delivery of medications to underserved regions. In addition, companies can engage patients and patient advocates to better understand the needs of patients.
  5. Empowering local communities and patients: Empower local healthcare providers through partnering on education, training, and infrastructure support to facilitate effective administration and monitoring of oncology treatments. In addition, the industry should centre patients and their experiences in their work, as patient voices can help guide industry efforts to make access to care more inclusive and equitable.

We support the research conducted by the Access to Medicine Foundation. Through their comprehensive assessments and analysis of pharmaceutical companies’ practices, policies, and commitments, the Foundation sheds light on areas where improvements are needed to enhance accessibility to vital cancer treatments.

Addressing the disparities in access to oncology medications requires joint effort from all stakeholders. By working together, we can bridge the gap between innovation and accessibility, ensuring that every patient, regardless of their geographic location or economic status, has the fundamental right to access life-saving oncology medications.

Our patients from around the world have messages to share through their own experiences. >You can visit them here

>Visit the website of the Access to Medicine Foundation to learn more about their work