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EU can help to heal cancer: Nobody to die of cancer in 20 years’ time

25.04.2018
Woman with cancer wearing scarf

Cancer is one of the main challenges many Europeans face. Almost one in three Europeans will develop cancer in their lifetime and every European knows how painful and impactful the burden of cancer remains. Nearly everybody has a friend or a family member who is suffering from cancer or even died because of this horrible disease. While major responsibilities for health remain within the Member States, the EU can and must play its part.

The EPP Group commits to do everything in its power to ensure that nobody dies from cancer in the EU 20 years from now.

The EPP Group supports the following concrete steps:

1. Research

A: We want to double the amount the European Union is spending on cancer research until 2024.

B: The new EU framework programme for research should include a mission: “No child should die from cancer in twenty years' time”. Therefore, the research budget for this purpose (cancer and children) should be multiplied tenfold by 2024.

C: Research conducted by non-profit organisations, like cancer charities, should receive five times more support than in the past.

D: We call for the prudent implementation of the general data protection regulation to avoid unnecessary restrictions for cancer research.

2. Pharmaceutical policy

A: The European Medicines Agency and national associations for Health Technology Assessments - who prepare the decision of Member States if a drug should be reimbursed - should cooperate better to focus investment on drugs that have a real benefit for patients. Therefore, we ask for the timely approval of the European Commission’s proposal on HTAs.

B: Better framework for treating children with cancer.

C: Less bureaucracy in clinical trials, especially for SMEs and non-profit organisations.      

3. E-Health

To address the issue of more specialised therapies and to avoid unnecessary travelling for patients, E-Health in the European Union should be better supported. We therefore ask the European Commission to urgently present a roadmap - including legislative proposals - for guaranteeing the development of common standards to enhance the interoperability of healthcare systems and the necessary E-Health infrastructure.

4. Cross-border healthcare

Implementation of a cross-border healthcare directive to allow patients to see specialists which are best suited for their treatment, without unnecessary burdens.

5. Prevention

Strict and fast implementation of the tobacco directive; awareness campaigns promoting healthy lifestyles; air quality measures that address the cause of bad air quality; and the speedy adoption of the Commission’s proposal on the protection of workers from risk-related carcinogens and mutagens at work.

6. Screening and early detection

Health Ministers should review the 2003 Council recommendations on cancer screening.  

7. Cancer register

The Commission should help to build a framework for the interoperability of European cancer registers as soon as possible.

8. Gender perspective

Specific issues from male and female perspectives should be addressed.

9. Taking care of cancer survivors

People who survived cancer and have no significant risk and whose medical risk is not higher than the average population, should be protected against discrimination.

10. Terminal illness at the work place

People who are terminally ill should be allowed to continue to work if they want to do so.

11. Work-life balance

The situation of parents and carers for cancer patients should be addressed in the directive for work-life balance.

12. Palliative care

The Commission should provide a platform for the exchange of best practice in palliative care and support research in palliative care.

Cancer research can be more successful and cancer treatment can be more effective if the best brains in Europe work together and patients have the possibility to benefit from progress wherever they live. This is true for cancer in general but it is particularly true for cancer in children or rare cancer diagnosis. More personalised medicine also makes it crucial that Europeans work together.                         

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