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ESMO Global Policy Committee: Major Achievements


Achievements from past years

  • 2019 International Universal Health Coverage Day: The joint Kazakhstan-WHO-ESMO project helped to optimise cancer resource allocation in the country, with an overall increase of the cancer budget to ensure that all essential and effective cancer treatments can be offered free of charge to cancer patients within the country’s universal coverage health plan.
  • 2019 United Nations High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage: On 23 September 2019, the UN held a High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage: Moving Together to Build a Healthier World’ and adopted a UN Political Declaration on Universal Health Coverage (UHC). The ESMO official statement called on governments prioritize high-impact investments in cancer care by accelerating implementation of the 2017 WHO ‘Cancer Resolution’ (WHA 70.12). ESMO also requested that countries pay for comprehensive essential cancer services within national UHC packages, which is currently lacking in many countries.
  • 2019 UN multi-stakeholder hearing on universal health coverage: ESMO provided input to the UN Political Declaration on UHC by submitting an official statement during the on 29 April 2019 UN multi-stakeholder hearing on universal health coverage. The ESMO statement supports universal health coverage for cancer patients based on ESMO’s commitment to health as a human right, not a privilege. The ESMO statement requested that the United Nations Political Declaration on UHC state that "countries must guarantee their entire population ‘universal health coverage benefit packages’ that ensure financial protection for patients, and include a core set of comprehensive, safe, affordable, effective and quality cancer prevention, treatment, and palliative care services delivered by an adequate, and well-trained workforce". This would contribute to reducing cancer deaths worldwide. It would also require that governments strengthen primary care, guarantee referral services to secondary and tertiary facilities, and maintain comprehensive cancer registries to measure progress.
  • 2019 World Health Assembly: In May 2019 at the World Health Assembly, the ESMO statement requested that the 2019 UN Political Declaration on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) require universal health coverage packages to include comprehensive cancer and palliative care services. A second ESMO statement focussed on the WHO ‘Draft roadmap for access to medicines, vaccines and other health products, 2019-2023’, calling for improved access to medicines not only at the primary healthcare level but also at the secondary and tertiary levels where cancer care is provided.
  • 2019 WHO Executive Board Meeting: ESMO delivered three statements with the following messages:

  • ESMO International Consortium Study on the Availability, out-of-pocket costs and accessibility of antineoplastic medicines in countries outside of Europe: Study published in Annals of Oncology.
  • Attended the 140th session of the WHO Executive Board Meeting in Geneva, 23-31 January 2017. As a non-State actor in official relations with WHO, ESMO was invited to attend and presented a position statement on the 2017 WHO Cancer Resolution. 
  • WHO Global Forum on Medical Devices: ESMO presentation during session on Human Resources for Medical Devices.
  • WHO Global Conference on NCDs in Montevideo, Uruguay: ESMO representatives delivered strategic messages on the need to address cancer to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
  • ESMO-WHO Joint Sessions and Presentations: 2017 ESMO Africa Summit, 2017 ESMO Leadership Generation Program, ESMO 2017 Congress and ESMO Asia 2017.
  • WHO Special Session of the Executive Board, 22-23 November: ESMO makes an official statement on WHO work plan 2019-2030, asking WHO to include in the work plan its commitments to the Cancer Resolution and to a High-Level Commission on NCDs.

  • United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Drugs, April 2016  ESMO Global Opioid Policy Initiative on barriers to access to opioids supported the adoption of a UN Outcome Statement on ‘Operational recommendations on ensuring the availability of, and access to, controlled substances exclusively for medical and scientific purposes, while preventing their diversion’ .
  • WHO World Health Assembly, May 2016 ESMO supported a side event co-hosted by WHO and UICC together with the Ministries of Health from Malaysia, Honduras, India, Jordan, Korea, Kuwait, Peru and Zambia which resulted in these WHO Member States proposing that a Cancer Resolution be prepared and approved at the 2017 World Health Assembly.
  • WHO Europe’s Action Plan on Non-communicable Diseases, September 2016 ESMO participated in the consultations at WHO Europe headquarters in Copenhagen and achieved the inclusion in the plan of not only prevention and early detection of cancer, but also recommendations to improve access to treatment.
  • ESMO 2016 Congress and ESMO Asia 2016 Joint Sessions with WHO, October & December 2016 ESMO-WHO Europe Joint Symposium: To screen or not to screen for breast cancer? 
  • Joint Symposium ESMO Global Policy Committee/ AORTIC-SLACOM-UICC-WHO: Innovative strategies for affordability of value-based cancer care.
  • ESMO-WHO Special Session: Tobacco use and cancer treatment.
  • WHO Model List of Priority Medical Devices, in progress ESMO contributed with expertise on the priority medical devices list for cancer.
  • WHO Model List of Essential Medicines, January 2016 Article in ESMO Open  'ESMO and WHO:14 years of working in partnership on cancer control' outlining ESMO’s participation in updating the list with 16 new cancer medicines which collectively impact the treatment options of 26 types of cancer, many of which could not have been treated at all without the newly added medicines.

  • Preliminary data for the ESMO European Consortium Study on the Availability of Anti-neoplastic Medicines across Europe was presented at ESMO 2014 and is now in the peer-review stage. The study is conducted under the auspices of the Emerging Countries Committee. Access the data here.
  • 67th World Health Assembly adopts the "Strengthening of palliative care as a component of integrated treatment throughout the life course" resolution. ESMO, UICC, NCD Alliance and other endorsing partners issue palliative care statement at WHA.
  • Formation of a Global Cancer Task Force led by Eduardo Cazap (Argentina) and José Martin-Moreno (Spain). The Task Force provides a platform for the exchange of technical and scientific expertise of cancer organisations worldwide who voluntarily come together to provide guidance to the World Health Organization (WHO) on issues related to clinical oncology care. The Task Force is currently focusing on projects related to national-level implementation of the 2013-2020 WHO Global Action Plan on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases, whose goal is to reduce preventable deaths from this category of illnesses by 25% by the year 2025.

  • ESMO 2012 Congress plenary presentation webcast and video interviews of the survey results of international collaborative project on the availability and barriers to access of opioids for cancer pain management in Africa, Asia, Latin America & the Caribbean and the Middle East. Read the press release.
  • Cancer Prevention Advocacy Training Toolkit for Africa (PDF download) produced by ESMO, the Africa Oxford Cancer Foundation (AfrOx), the African Organisation for Research and Training in Cancer (AORTIC), and the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC). Read the press release.
  • ESMO supports World Cancer Day 2012 – Essential medicines for all! The ‘Morphine Manifesto’ (PDF download) compliments the ESMO-led international collaborative project on access to essential medicines and opioids for pain management.

  • ESMO DCTF/UICC/WHO Special Symposium: The cancer burden in developing countries the role of prevention, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Presentation to Global Health Council, Washington DC, USA
  • Developing Countries Supported Meetings
  • ESMO Developing Countries Task Force established

Last update: June 2021

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