Brussels, 4 February 2021: COCIR welcomes the launch of the European Commission’s Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan. We support its ambition to deploy all available EU resources - political, legislative and financial – in the fight against cancer.
The cross-disciplinary Plan showcases where the EU seeks to add the most value. The structure addresses in the four key action areas of the disease pathway – prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment and after-care quality of life - and features ten flagship initiatives.
COCIR Secretary General Nicole Denjoy said; “One year ago, on World Cancer Day, the European Commission launched its roadmap for Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan. Twelve months on, the European Commission is sharing its new European strategy for cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care. Now, however, we still need to observe how this strategy will be interpreted and implemented at Member State level.”
She added “This Plan marks a major milestone; however, much remains to be done. Genuine success depends on coordinated efforts by all stakeholders - the EU, national governments, healthcare providers, carers and patients alike. We welcome the intention to associate stakeholders to the implementation phase. COCIR remains committed to sharing its experience and expertise and contributing constructively to realising the ambition of the Plan. It will assist in then pragmatic and timely implementation in helping deliver sustainable patient-centred value-based care pathways at national level.”
Against this backdrop, COCIR is pleased - and proud - to see that our recommendations on Enhancing Value in Cancer Prevention and Care have been taken on in the Plan in the form of concrete actions. More explanations are given in Annex.
COCIR, along with its members, will provide our full support to this Commission initiative, ensuring we constructively share our industries’ knowledge of innovative technologies with proven effective results. The ultimate goal, as always, is to improve patient access to healthcare to deliver better outcomes, while taking account of other aspects as cost-effectiveness.
Annex: COCIR recommendations identified in the released Plan
Prevention and Early Diagnosis
COCIR welcomes the European Commission’s intention to review, update and extend the current soft law on cancer screening to cover lung and prostate cancer screening, in addition to breast, cervical and colorectal cancers. COCIR also supports the promotion of measures to improve the monitoring and assessing national screening programmes.
COCIR appreciates that the Plan properly recognises the benefits of radiotherapy and sets up measures to upskill the health workforce accordingly.
We also value the fact that it recognises the different EU funding tools available under Horizon Europe for support cancer research and innovation, including the planned future public-private partnership for health innovation.
Last, COCIR applauds the Plan’s ambition to mobilise Member States to invest in healthcare infrastructure with the support of EU funding.
COCIR welcomes that the Plan acknowledges the need to tackle inequalities of access to diagnosis and treatment in the EU, which play a key role in improving outcomes. COCIR has been asking. For many years, COCIR has been vocal on the need to renew the older installed equipment base and to increase access to radiotherapy as the most effective way to deliver optimal outcomes.
COCIR appreciates that the Plan recognises the added value of digital health. The development and deployment of digital health solutions and infrastructure has created better options for cancer patients and their carers, including aiding in delivering remote care and self-care, which can help alleviate the physical and mental burdens.
Throughout the Plan it makes clear that the availability and accessibility of health data are essential for high-quality care and innovation. Through the European Health Data Space, the enhanced European Reference Networks and digital health solutions, COCIR will ensure that the information, knowledge and tools will be available to support equitable access to the best possible care.
COCIR is the European Trade Association representing the medical imaging, radiotherapy, health ICT and electromedical industries. Founded in 1959, COCIR is a non-profit association headquartered in Brussels (Belgium) with a China Desk based in Beijing since 2007. COCIR is unique as it brings together the healthcare, IT and telecommunications industries.
For more information, contact:
COCIR Secretary General
Tel: +32 (0)2 706 8961
COCIR Communications Senior Advisor
Tel: +32 (0) 473 43 07 52