Remove obstacles for cross-border research. Invest in cancer prevention. Ensure equal access to cancer treatment for all. Grant cancer patients the right to be forgotten. Ban flavours in e-cigarettes, which are designed to attract minors. These and many other policy actions have been included by the EPP Group in the final Report of Parliament’s Special Committee on Beating Cancer, which will conclude its work this week.
"Today, not all Europeans have equal access to cancer treatment due to overly complicated rules. We want to change that", said Peter Liese MEP, the EPP Group's lead negotiator of the final Report.
"For someone, for instance, who lives in Belgium but wants to see a doctor in the Netherlands, the process of getting treatment can be complicated. Patients lack information on where to get the best treatment or second opinion and are asked to pay for costly treatments upfront. Once they return home, they are subject to filling in complicated reimbursement forms without the certainty of being paid. This doesn’t work. We need a single set of reimbursement rules for all cancer patients in Europe", explained Liese, stressing that the European Union has the means to make the existing rules on cross-border healthcare clearer.
Peter Liese also points to the problem that currently, there are still too many obstacles to efficient cross-border research. "It is not acceptable to hinder cancer research. We must do everything to make the lives of scientists who want to do cross-border research more easy.
Speaking about another significant achievement of the EPP Group, incentivising research on childhood and rare cancers, Cindy Franssen MEP, the EPP Group's Spokeswoman in the Special Committee, said: "Due to the rarity of these cancers, researchers struggle with accurate and timely diagnosis and consequently, treatments. With the right incentives for companies to do more in-depth research of paediatric cancers, this can change", said Franssen.
The plenary of the European Parliament will debate the outcome of the Special Committee today (Tuesday) and vote on it tomorrow (Wednesday).
Note to editors
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 177 Members from all EU Member States