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Pleased with the political platform

The new government of Norway has launched their political platform. Oslo Cancer Cluster have reviewed the political platform document. We are overall very pleased with the initiatives that concerns research, knowledge, education, business and R&D.

Jónas Einarsson, acting director of Oslo Cancer Cluster says “There are a lot of initiatives in this political platform from Høyre and Fremskrittspartiet which is directly in line with Oslo Cancer Cluster`s strategy and areas we have been working on for a long time. Some of these are crucial for building a strong biotech industry in Norway at the same time as we take care of the cancer patients and develop the cancer treatments of tomorrow.”

These are some of the plans we highly agree with:

  • Norway should become one of the most innovative countries in Europe
  • More funds to industry R&D and innovation
  • Use industry clusters as an innovation tool – by especially strengthen the Norwegian Centres of Expertise (NCE-program) and start up Global Centres of Expertise.
  • More resources to governmental seed capital funds
  • Secure more funding to clinical trials as well as increase the number of patients participating in clinical trials
  • Develop an activity plan for the national strategy for cancer

Here you may download the polticial plattform from Høyre and Fremskrittspartiet.

National Cancer Drugs Fund

Oslo Cancer Cluster, the Norwegian Cancer Society and the Association of the Pharmaceutical Industry in Norway join forces in pushing for a new cancer drugs fund. The purpose of the fund is to ensure equal and quicker access to new approved cancer drugs in Norway.

 

A cancer drugs fund would cover the costs of new cancer drugs for public hospitals over a period of two to three years, and would ensure that cancer patients in Norway are given equal and quicker access to new cancer drugs. The fund provides an opportunity to generate Norwegian data regarding the effects of cancer drugs and obtain experience of their use in Norwegian hospitals. This would give the pharmaceuticals authorities a good basis for evaluating the value of each drug and give time for a thorough assessment of whether we want to start using it in Norwegian hospitals.


Equal and quicker access

There are two pressing reasons why such a cancer drugs fund should be established:
Firstly, it will ensure that the same cancer treatments will be available all over Norway. This is not the case today. Secondly, a national cancer drugs fund will ensure that new cancer drugs are taken into use immediately after being approved by the Norwegian Medicines Agency and recommended by expert groups, regardless of health economics and bureaucratic processes.


We want this now because:

Growing knowledge about cancer and cancer treatment results in new medical advances being made all the time. The Norwegian funding scheme for cancer drugs has proven to be poorly equipped to deal with the continuous development and innovation in this area, for two main reasons: Firstly, drugs are funded over the hospitals’ operating budgets, which means that expensive new cancer drugs are not followed up by fresh money in the hospital budgets. Secondly, the Norwegian health authorities often take a long time to consider whether to introduce new drugs in the treatment guidelines, even after a drug has been thoroughly assessed and approved for use by international and Norwegian pharmaceuticals authorities and recommended by oncology expert milieus.

 

In Norwegian:

Oslo Cancer Cluster, Kreftforeningen og Legemiddelindiustriforeningen går sammen inn for et kreftmedisinfond.  Formålet med fondet er å sikre lik og raskere tilgang til nye, godkjente kreftmedisiner i Norge.

Et kreftmedisinfond vil gi offentlige sykehus kostnadsdekning for nye kreftmedisiner over en to-  til tre-års periode og vil sikre kreftpasienter i Norge lik og raskere tilgang til ny kreftmedisin. Fondet gir mulighet til å generere norske data for effekt og samle erfaring fra bruken av legemiddelet ved norske sykehus. Dette vil gi legemiddelmyndighetene gode forutsetninger til å evaluere verdien av hvert enkelt legemiddel og gi tid til en grundig vurdering av om vi ønsker å ta det i bruk på norske sykehus.

Lik tilgang og raskere tilgang
Det er to svært presserende grunner til at et slikt kreftmedisinfond bør komme på plass:
For det første vil dette samme kreftbehandling over hele landet. Det er ikke realiteten i dag. For det andre vil et nasjonalt kreftmedisinfond sikrer at nye kreftmedisiner tas i bruk umiddelbart etter godkjenning fra Legemiddelverket og anbefaling fra faggruppene, uavhengig av helseøkonomiske og byråkratiske prosesser.

Bakgrunnen for at vi ønsker dette nå:
Økende kunnskap om kreft og kreftbehandling, fører til stadig nye medisinske fremskritt. Det norske finansieringssystemet for kreftmedisiner har vist seg lite egnet til å håndtere den kontinuerlige utviklingen og nyvinningene innen dette området, basert på to sentrale problemstillinger: For det første er finansieringen av legemidlene lagt til sykehusenes driftsbudsjetter, det innebærer at nye og kostbare kreftmedisiner ikke følges opp med nye penger på sykehusbudsjettene. For det andre bruker norske helsemyndigheter ofte lang tid på å vurdere om nye medisiner skal få en plass i behandlingsretningslinjene, selv etter at medikamentet er grundig vurdert og godkjent for bruk av internasjonale og norske legemiddelmyndigheter og anbefales av de onkologiske fagmiljøene.