Latest European developments
On 15 April in Bucharest, the Romanian EU presidency addressed access to medicines and cross-border health care in an informal meeting of the Ministries of Health
Focus was placed on delivering patient access and to improve awareness
to of rights to get reimbursement for treatment in EU countries.
Meantime cross-border activities can be observed happening across the
European Union. Out 28 member states, 22 countries have signed up for
to send e-prescriptions across border and to receive patient summaries
(implemented in a second stage). At the national level, it will
successively be employed. Five countries have already adopted the
exchange of ePrescriptions since January 2019: Estonia, Finland, Czech
Republic, Luxembourg, and Croatia last to join in April.
Following the steps of France, Belgium has recently adopted legislation
on the right for cancer patients to be forgotten. The law states that
cancer survivors do not have to declare their cancer 10 years after the
end of active treatment, with 5 years applicable if they had cancer
under the age of 18. This is expected to have marked impact on the life
of previous patients. For instance, it will no longer be necessary to
mention this when applying for certain insurances. Belgium is now the
second European country that has adopted this legislation aimed at
protecting cancer survivors.
Elections at the EU level
The European elections are fast approaching the 23-26 May.
Following the results of a recent poll, the party projected to win is
the European Peoples’ Party (EPP), led by Manfred Weber. He is the lead
candidate to take over the from Jean-Claude Juncker. He called for the
support of a European masterplan against cancer
at the official launch of his presidency campaign: “by pooling our talents, knowledge and resources, we can truly join all our forces in the fight against cancer.”
On the contrary Weber’s statements on a European cancer action plan are not yet embedded within the EPP general manifesto
Some active candidates are in the field of oncology from different
parties are: Germany’s Peter Liese (EPP) who has been a strong advocate
for Health Technology Assessment (HTA) matters, Italy’s Elena Gentile
who has specifically worked on peadiatric cancers, Slovenia’s Alojz
Peterle, the president of the informal MEP Against Cancer group. A
prominent candidate, Lieve Wierinck, who is a strong advocate for
radiotherapy and member of the MEPs Interest group on Patient Access to healthcare
, is standing for re-election.