While Latin American countries are uniformly eager to embrace innovative medicine, they each approach regulatory matters independently. The result is a patchwork regulatory structure of rules and standards that vary throughout the region. GAfPA’s physicians and advocates encourage a consistent policy approach so that patients, regardless of nationality, have the same dependable access to safe, innovative treatments.
Diverse approaches to regulation can present challenges for patient access to biologics and biosimilars. Argentina, Venezuela, Chile and Mexico, for example, have each addressed — or failed to address — regulating biologics in their own way.
To assuage physicians’ concerns and to promote patient access to a safe supply of biologic therapies, emerging biosimilars must have a clear and consistent pathway throughout the region. A strong regulatory framework offers the surest path to patient access to these innovative treatments.
Environmental factors, smoking, obesity and alcohol use are leading cancer risk factors in Latin America. Fifty-four percent of the population has little or no health coverage, and many patients don’t access treatment until their cancer has progressed to a late stage. Five-year survival in Latin America rates below that of most European countries, Australia and Japan.
Lack of preventative measures, education and palliative care continues to plague Latin America. The region’s policies must continue to evolve so that patients battling cancer can have timely access to the treatment they need.