How the EU Pharmaceutical Strategy can help children and adolescents with cancer


How the EU Pharmaceutical Strategy can help children and adolescents with cancer

By facilitating and incentivising the regulatory environment with dedicated R&D funding, policymakers can make a big impact on paediatric oncology across Europe, argue Pamela Kearns (SIOPE President) and Gilles Vassal (SIOPE Board Member).

“Only nine anti-cancer medicines were authorised for a specific paediatric indication since 2007, in contrast to over 150 for adult cancers. This slow pace of innovation cannot serve paediatric cancer patients. Progress requires solid support for dedicated international academic research platforms, crosslinked to and informed by adult cancer and industry-driven research, and regulatory changes.”

The aim of the EU Pharmaceutical Strategy is to ensure Europe’s supply of safe and affordable medicines to meet patients’ needs and support the European pharmaceutical industry’s innovation efforts.

Our paediatric oncology community is delighted that the Strategy refers to the evaluation of the Paediatric and Orphan Regulation and mentions a plan on drug shortages. The new EU Pharmaceutical Strategy is an opportunity to make lifesaving differences for young cancer patients by addressing its key pharmaceutical challenges. These include:

  • Poor progress made regarding high-risk paediatric tumours due to lack of access to targeted innovation;
  • Major inequalities in access to essential medicines across Europe;
  • Inadequate access to innovative therapies for children and adolescents with cancer.

Read this op-ed @The Parliament Magazine.