Call for new era of cancer research

3 Feb 2010

Health systems will require the promotion of innovative funding and a rethink in regulation, according to a new peer-reviewed study published today in ecancermedicalscience.

"The Role of Funding and Policies on Innovation in Cancer Drug Development," identifies avenues to address the disease challenge including an expanded role of research for governments through direct and indirect incentives, as well as re-thinking regulation, pricing and reimbursement systems.

Europe is facing the challenge of an expected dramatic increase in the prevalence of cancer that could reach 15 million Europeans by 2020. While applauding the progress that has been made, the report suggests that EU and national policies to fight cancer must invest and act decisively to remove obstacles in order to meet this complex challenge.

"While Europe has considerably increased its funding since 2004, funding still appears fragmented, with duplication in some areas and insufficiencies in others," said co-author Panos Kanavos, senior lecturer at London School of Economics. "Moreover, despite efforts at the national level to promote public-private partnerships in cancer research, we found that surprisingly little thought has been given to the nature of international public-private partnerships in cancer research, a method we believe could significantly improve research. There is also a need for a holistic regulatory approach to foster innovation in the area of oncology."

"In addition, to create a more conducive environment for drug development we'll require the right mix of incentives for innovation, an enhanced role for government with regard to incentives as well as a rethink of how regulation works and how systems of pricing and reimbursement operate," stressed co-author Richard Sullivan, of the European Cancer Research Managers Foundation and Kings Health Partners Integrated Cancer Centre.

Participants also welcomed the recent launch of the European Partnership Action against Cancer and expressed their hope that it will contribute to the better coordination and facilitation of cancer research in EU as well as to exchange of information and best practices in the area of cancer prevention and treatment.

Source: ecancermedicalscience

Watch an interview with Prof. Richard Sullivan on ecancertv here.