The Principles of a European Cancer Dashboard: Cancer Policy Stakeholders Converge

30 September 2020

Today, at the virtual European Health Forum Gastein event, three European level cancer policy stakeholder organisations gave a shared commitment to developing and promoting the concept of a European Cancer Dashboard to support the success of the forthcoming Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan.

 

The Dashboard is suggested as a vital monitoring and implementation tool to help underpin the Plan, and is strongly supported by the European Cancer Organisation, the European Cancer Patient Coalition (ECPC) and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations Oncology Platform (EFPIA).

Starting with the principle that “what gets measured gets done”, the Dashboard would create a powerful tool that monitors a set of key indicators at the European level and would help to chart successes related to the goals of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan. We believe if the plan can include the concept of a Dashboard, work can begin immediately on its development, securing public awareness and implementation in 2021 and beyond.

Principles that the three organisations recommend underpin this Dashboard include:

  • be public facing and easy for all to understand and use. Every EU citizen should be able to follow the progress of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan.
  • be developed in co-operation with stakeholders. This includes Member States, oncology experts, patients, healthcare professions, and the healthcare industry.
  • build on pre-existing work. Examples in this respect include the European Cancer Information System (ECIS), the European Network of Cancer Registries, the European Core Health Indicator series, the Health at a Glance exercise, and the EU’s cancer control Joint Actions. Indicators can also be drawn from the European Code Against Cancer and European Code of Cancer Practice.
  • be evidence-based and continually evolve as common indicators become agreed and available. Immediately available common indicators should enable a prompt creation of the first stage Dashboard.
  • cover all the core areas of cancer care. The Dashboard should be encompassing of the four main pillars of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan, with other crosscutting categories e.g. inequalities, patient involvement, burden of cancer, and research. Research indicators (e.g. levels of research activity) could also help to build explicit linkage with EU cancer research initiative such as the EU Cancer Mission, Horizon Research Programme and Innovative Health Initiative.

The three organisations call for the Dashboard, together with the way to build it, to be included in Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan. Thereafter, the organisations recommend an expert group be appointed to develop the first stage of the Dashboard. This group should be representative of member states, experts, healthcare professions, patients and the healthcare industry. The organisations make a joint commitment to provide support to the Dashboard’s creation, development, and impact.


Dr Matti Aapro, President of the European Cancer Organisation, said:

“There is a lot of excitement in the cancer community about Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan. It is therefore essential that once published, the plan does not sit on a shelf gathering dust. To ensure that the plan lives and breathes in the coming years, it needs to include a mechanism that will chart progress on a regular basis, in a way that every citizen can engage with. The public should be able to ‘see and feel’ how EU policy is making the difference to our shared fight against cancer. We think a European Cancer Dashboard can fulfil that role.”


Alexander Roediger, Chair of the EFPIA Oncology Platform, said:

Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan is a unique ambition to improve cancer patients’ lives. Like anyone who explores new territory, we need some simple instruments which help us – and everyone with the same mission – to understand whether we are on track. A dashboard is such a simple tool, and it will support us to achieve our goal.”


Kathi Apostolidis, President of ECPC, said:

“Beating cancer in EU requires a transversal and multisectoral health-in-all-policies approach. Indeed, this is the only viable approach, and one that must be applied at all stages, from primary to secondary prevention, to access of care, to supporting survivors. It is a complex task so that it is important that a patient-centered Europe’s Beating Cancer dashboard is created soon. Indeed, what gets measured gets done.”

-ENDS-


NOTES TO EDITORS

The European Cancer Organisation, the European Cancer Patient Coalition (ECPC) and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) set out their further thinking on a European Cancer Dashboard at the first session of the 2020 European Health Forum Gastein this morning.

The session ‘“Europe Beats” Cancer Plan: Dancing with the elephants”, took place Wednesday, 30 September 2020 from 09:00-10:30. Following a presentation by Bengt Jönsson, Professor Emeritus of Health Economics at the Stockholm School of Economics (SSE), on the current status of Europe’s fight against cancer, a panel of experts discussed core potential goals for Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan that would help to address the identified areas for improvement.

More information here.

The concept of a European Cancer Dashboard was first articulated at a session of the European Health Forum Gastein in October 2019. More information here.

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