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News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

Rare Cancers Australia partners on patient-centred framework to transform cancer care in Asia Pacific region

Health Industry Hub | December 5, 2023 |

Pharma News: In a landmark release, the Asia Pacific Oncology Alliance (APOA) unveiled a new report, encompassing insights from over 100 interviews. This Pathways for transforming the cancer ecosystem: A patient-centred framework report shines a spotlight on the pivotal role of the patient voice in improving cancer experiences and outcomes across the region.

APOA is an initiative by the Pinnacle Program, established by Rare Cancers Australia in 2017. The APOA Advisory Board includes diverse stakeholders including patient groups, clinical experts, government officials and industry representatives from Pfizer and Amgen.

Richard Vines, CEO of Rare Cancers Australia, stressed the economic and societal advantages of effective cancer treatment, saying “Each market in the region will need to have a strategy to sustainably provide better prevention and care services for their community. Health systems are grappling with growing health care expenditures, aging populations, chronic diseases and the relatively high costs for new technologies.”

Mr Vines accentuated the pivotal role of patient insights, likening their significance to understanding traffic systems by engaging with seasoned taxi drivers who navigate roads daily. He emphasised “Listening to and respecting patients will help us make better decisions. Patients experience the health system from the inside out, they bring a unique perspective that can help administrators find the most efficient way forward.”

Carmen Auste, CEO of Cancer Warriors Foundation Philippines, Vice President of the Cancer Coalition Philippines and civil society representative of the Philippine National Integrated Cancer Control Council, hailed the report as a collaborative initiative.

“By sharing our stories and insights learned from our experiences, we inspire others, spark their imagination and fuel their passion. Our stories, our experiences, our shared concerns and dreams, connect us all and become the driving force for transformational change,” she commented.

Echoing this sentiment, Jenny Zhang from the Chinese patient organisation House086 highlighted the evolving perception of cancer in China.

“People used to associate cancer with fear and wanting to run away because of the harsh reality of limited treatment options, no money for treatment and no confidence. Now we can face cancer and more people hope to live with cancer. We have more access to medicine, the means to afford treatment, and the confidence to fight. For most people, a lot has changed,” Ms Zhang stated.

The report spotlights 36 case studies showcasing successful regional projects that embrace the patient voice as pivotal in their efficacy. These cases encompass diverse initiatives spanning education, diagnosis, support and treatment, with cultural nuances playing a significant role.

The report further underscored the necessity of addressing patients’ non-medical needs, exemplified by initiatives like Taiwan’s Hope Foundation, catering to fertility concerns of young cancer patients, and Japan’s support resources aiding patients in balancing work and treatment commitments.

While acknowledging the diverse needs and cultural contexts across different countries, the report underscores the transformative potential of a unified vision, collaborative efforts, and patient-centric approaches, signalling positive change in cancer care across the Asia Pacific region.

In reimagining healthcare across the entire patient journey, Health Industry HubTM is the only one-stop-hub bringing the diversity of Pharma, MedTech, Diagnostics & Biotech sectors together to inspire meaningful change.

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