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ESMO’s Mission on Access to Cancer Medicines and Technologies


ESMO works to ensure access to, and the availability of, medicines so that cancer patients receive the best possible treatment available

Access to affordable, safe, effective, quality medicines is part of every person’s human right to the best health possible. It is a necessary component of Universal Health Coverage and needed to achieve the goals of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan, the WHO’s Cancer Resolution, and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Access to cancer medicines is a crucial issue for medical oncologists because it affects their daily practice and ability to treat patients according to the evidence-based ESMO Clinical Practice Guidelines. 

For this reason, ESMO is addressing the topic of access to medicines at the European and global policy levels, and is also developing tools and resources that can support countries in achieving sustainable cancer care, such as the ESMO-Magnitude of Clinical Benefit Scale.

Since 2010, ESMO has gathered data on the availability of cancer medicines in Europe and internationally and provided recommendations on how to prevent and manage cancer medicines shortages.

To keep the view of medical oncologists high on the political agenda, ESMO delivers official statements, and supports resolutions, at WHO, UN, and EU meetings on topics related to the access and availability of cancer medicines which are essential to providing quality cancer care.  

ESMO remains actively engaged in advocating for improved and increased access to, and availability of, cancer medicines, to ensure that its members and the wider oncology community can obtain the therapies that patients need in order to receive the best possible treatment available.

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