Cancer Advocacy Coalition of Canada Advocates Better Access to Innovative Treatments

According to the Cancer Advocacy Coalition of Canada, getting patients properly tested must complement clinical research. Photo source: nytimes.com

According to the Cancer Advocacy Coalition of Canada, getting patients properly tested must complement clinical research. Photo source: nytimes.com

In this year’s “Report Card on Cancer in Canada”, the Cancer Advocacy Coalition of Canada praises the progress of cancer research, but asks that Canadians be given better access to these lifesaving treatments, as well as more emphasis on preventative techniques.

In the fight against cancer, successfully targeting the disease means acknowledging that cancer is not a single external problem, but the result of numerous internally manufactured accidents in the cancer patient. Some are facilitated by contaminants like smoking, but today’s smart cancer treatments are tailored to figuring out and targeting the kind of cancer that has affected the patient. For example, breast cancer with the presence of the protein HER-1 has an effective and selective treatment, but requires the patient has the tests that identifies which of the many iterations of cancer the patient has.

Increased Investment for a Better Access

For people working inside the pharmaceutical industry, this is another look at how life-saving treatments go from the clinical research lab to common use. In addition to providing money to develop a treatment, provinces must invest in the infrastructure to make these treatments available. This can mean everything from retraining medical staff about the new techniques – pharmaceutical sales, in particular, often takes on an educating role to help this process – but also investing in the money to bring the treatment to the general population in the form of expanding testing budgets to adapt to the changes in medicine.

Pharmaceutical courses are also finding themselves at the frontline of another recommendation by the “Report Card”. In addition to providing more testing for specific kinds of cancer for better treatment targeting, The Cancer Advocacy Coalition also stresses the role of investing in smoking cessation assistance. For them, smoking has a broad-reaching effect on healthcare, even beyond a known correlation with cancer. But, as we discussed in a past post, pharmacies are increasingly also holding a community health role.

How would you speed up access to new treatments for patients?