All.Can puts patients at the heart of cancer policy

The All.Can initiative puts patients at the heart of cancer policy, writes Suzanne Wait.

Suzanne Wait | Photo credit: Bristol Myers Squibb

By Suzanne Wait

02 Oct 2017

Access to quality healthcare is at the core of the EU’s values. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in Europe, with up to 2.5 million Europeans diagnosed every year. Its prevalence is increasing with an ageing population. Despite formidable progress in treatment and care, there are growing pressures on healthcare budgets and urgent questions over how care can feasibly be sustained in the future. 

An answer lies in tackling systemic problems of waste and inefficiency. Across EU healthcare systems, 20 per cent of spending is currently estimated to be wasted on ineffective treatment and care. The All.Can initiative was set up to find pragmatic solutions to waste in cancer care. 

And according to All.Can member, MEP Lieve Wierinck, “What is unique about All.Can is its diversity of membership: it includes patient organisations, policymakers like myself, healthcare professionals, research and industry. All.Can platforms the exchange of best practices, and has an extensive programme of research and policy engagement to achieve its aims.” 


All.Can advocates reducing budget silos and fragmentation in the way cancer care is delivered; measuring impact by investing in the right data; and driving a culture of continuous improvement, with clear accountability mechanisms.

Solutions do not always require pumping more money into healthcare systems, but rather using what we have in the most effective way. All.Can believes patients are best placed to inform us on what impacts the quality and outcomes of their care.

All.Can’s 2017 policy report cites many examples of simple and innovative ways to tackle inefficiencies by focusing on patients, such as GE Healthcare redecorating their MRI scanners to resemble spaceships and rockets for their paediatric patients - lowering anxiety and the need for sedation, and increasing the number of scans per day. 

All.Can is a multi-stakeholder initiative involving patient, clinical, academic and industry experts as well as policymakers and aims to help define better solutions for sustainable cancer care and improve patient outcomes in the future. The All.Can initiative is made possible with financial support from Bristol-Myers Squibb (lead sponsor), Amgen and MSD (co-sponsor).

“To ensure sustainability and effective resource allocation across the continuum of cancer care, patient insights, outcomes and broader societal benefits must be prioritised,” suggests Amadou Diarra, Vice-President of global policy and government affairs, Bristol-Myers Squibb. 

On 4 October, All.Can is holding a session at the Gastein Forum, ‘Making cancer care more efficient - what role can different stakeholders play?’. 

All.Can will also co-host a seminar with the MEPs Against Cancer group on 25 January 2018 at the Parliament in Brussels, to see how we can replicate best practice at scale.

Solutions are needed in all countries, with the EU providing guidance and opportunities to share best practice. Join with us to ensure sustainable cancer care for all. Together, we All.Can.