On 8 February 2017, the Sarcoma Policy Checklist was launched at a European Parliament policy debate hosted by Marlene Mizzi MEP. Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis provided the keynote address. The event aimed to discuss some key challenges for sarcoma patients – and these were presented by Estelle Lecointe, chair of the Sarcoma Patients EuroNet (SPAEN) organisation.
The Sarcoma Policy Checklist was created as a tool to help policymakers improve the lives of patients with sarcoma across Europe. Sarcoma is a rare cancer that effects the connective tissues of the body. The checklist offers policymakers 5 key areas where they may focus their efforts (see below).
To help develop the checklist, the Health Policy Partnership has been working for 12 months as part of a new European group of leading representatives from patient organisations, clinical experts and industry. This includes SPAEN, Das Lebenshaus and Info Sarcomes, and clinical and industry representatives on sarcoma.
The checklist describes five key areas where policy makers may focus their efforts to make the most impact on care for patients:
- Designated and accredited centres of reference for sarcoma in each country
- Greater professional training for all health care professionals involved in sarcoma care
- A multidisciplinary approach to care for every patient with sarcoma
- Greater incentives for research and innovation
- More rapid access to effective treatments
The checklist also aims to help European countries learn from each other, by examining how the policy recommendations across the five priority areas are implemented in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
Speaking in advance of the launch, Marlene Mizzi MEP also wrote an article in the Parliament Magazine. Ms Mizzi called for greater political engagement to address the needs of patients with this rare type of cancer. To read the article please click here.
Versions of the report are available to download in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish, please see here. This project was financially supported by Lilly.