National Patient Advocate Foundation: Policymakers Must Make Cancer Research a Global Priority

December 8, 2014 03:42 PM EST

npaf2.jpgAt the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematologists (ASH), the National Patient Advocate Foundation (NPAF) – a non-profit group dedicated representing the patient’s voice in the growing movement to improve access to quality cancer care – called upon the global cancer community to make the availability of promising new treatments an urgent international priority.

While new cancer cases are on the rise, the development of new cancer therapies are hampered by numerous logistical, bureaucratic, institutional and regulatory obstacles. Speaking at a briefing held during ASH’s annual meeting, Charles M. Balch, M.D., Chair of NPAF's Scientific Advisory Committee, cited a recent paper entitled Securing the Future of Innovation in Cancer Treatment. The landmark report found that the greatest challenge facing cancer researchers and pharmaceutical firms is the high cost of bringing new treatments to patients. Those costs stem from inefficiencies in the outdated clinical trials process, mounting regulatory requirements and delays in review decisions – which, all together, add years to medical discovery and development.

"Given these trends,” Dr. Balch said, “it is imperative that cancer research is accelerated: it is the only way nations will improve patient outcomes, reduce the costs of cancer care and increase productivity. Cancer already costs governments around the world $1.16 trillion annually and there is little hope of bending the cost curve unless there is continued progress in preventing, detecting, diagnosing and treating the more than 200 types of cancer through cancer innovation."

Read more about the NPAF’s call to action here.

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