Breakthrough therapies offer new options for patients in Europe — and new challenges for the government entities that evaluate medications and determine their availability for patients. Across Europe, GAfPA’s advocates work to inform and shape policy decisions about the safety, accessibility and value of advanced medicines.
The European Union established a regulatory structure for approving biologics and biosimilars long before the United States and many of its international counterparts did. But the path forward for biologics is ever changing. New policies and regulations in the EU must follow a clear, consistent path so that patients can access a safe supply of biologic and biosimilar therapies.
As Europe’s population ages, its number of cancer patients also continues to rise. The European Medicines Agency takes, on average, 10 years to approve a new medicine. Waiting cancer patients may face other obstacles as well. Though anti-cancer drugs are a small portion of total drug expenditures in Europe, they are often targeted for budget cuts.
Many Europeans in pain struggle to have their suffering recognized and to access treatment. Nearly one third of Europeans experience musculo-skeletal pain that impedes daily activities. And a 2013 European Commission report noted that “acute postoperative pain management is still far from being satisfactory.”
These challenges persist, despite leadership from some policymakers. GAfPA partners with physicians and patient advocates across Europe to help shape policies that acknowledge patients’ symptoms and clear the way for appropriate treatment.