Cancer care in Italy
Italy’s healthcare system will face several challenges in the coming years to guarantee the overall sustainability of the system, while pharmaceutical innovations increasingly turn acute diseases into chronic ones.
In 2018, Italy recorded 3.3 million people surviving after a cancer diagnosis, with an overall 5-year survival rate of 63% for women and 54% for men. It was estimated that diagnoses of new cancers in 2018 would amount at 373,000, as stated by the most recent report of AIOM, the association of medical oncologists. Thanks to the development of both prevention campaigns and innovative therapies, prevalence increased by just 3% a year in the last 15 years. However, cancer still represents the second biggest cause of mortality in Italy, after cardiovascular diseases.1
While the financing of healthcare system as a share of GDP is experiencing a downward trend (from 6.6% in 2018 to 6.4% in 2021), expenditure for oncology drugs reached €5 billion in 2017, some 22% of public expenditure for drugs.2
Therefore, the overall system of cancer care must address a dual target of broad access and sustainability of therapies, technologies and assistance services. This goal can be reached by both increasing financial resources – as happened in 2017 with the creation of a €500 million fund for the purchase of innovative oncology drugs – and looking at streamlining the patient journey and properly allocating resources where they can create the greatest benefit for cancer patients.
All.Can Italy initiative
All.Can Italy looks at coalescing a multi-stakeholder platform – including patient associations, scientific societies, and both pharma and non-pharma companies – able to tackle these goals:
- Introducing discussion of the impact of innovation on the patient journey, from diagnosis to follow-up, into the policy agenda
- Identifying critical issues for patient access in the healthcare system
- Improving efficiency and sustainability of cancer therapies, favouring high-value care and assistance services.
All.Can Italy will work primarily on the collection of data and evidence about inefficiencies in care pathways for cancer patients, outlining whether heterogeneous organisation of regional healthcare systems is directly reflected in health outcomes.
Key milestones and activities
- Establishment of the platform and set-up of the first ad interim steering committee: Bristol-Myers Squibb as main sponsor, AbbVie as contributing partner, FAVO as first knowledge partner
- Appointment of Emilia Grazia De Biasi, former Head of the Health Committee of Italy’s Senate, as the platform spokeperson
- Official approval at the European CanCer Organisation (ECCO) summit in September 2018
- Set-up of the first working package: evidence collection about the organisation of cancer care and regional cancer networks
- Official launch of the platform and a multi-channel communication campaign on 19 February 2019.
- Rapporto Aiom – Airtum “I numeri del cancro in Italia – 2018 Available here: https://www.fondazioneaiom.it/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/2018_NumeriCancro-pazienti.pdf [accessed: January 2019]
- Rapporto OsMed 2017 Available here: http://www.aifa.gov.it/sites/default/files/Rapporto_OsMed_2017_AIFA.pdf [accessed: January 2019]
The start-up of the Italian platform involved a wide range of stakeholders from scientific societies and patient associations. All.Can Italy’s membership now encompasses leading patient associations such as FAVO and ACTO, a research foundation (Fondazione Melanoma) and specialised consultancies like IQVIA.
The All.Can initiative is made up of leading representatives of patient organisations, policymakers, healthcare professionals, science and industry. All the publications produced under the initiative reflect the consensus of All.Can members who have full editorial control. The All.Can initiative in Italy is financially supported by Bristol-Myers Squibb and AbbVie. None of the content developed in discussions and activities of the All.Can initiative contains direct or indirect references to specific medicinal products or therapies. The All.Can Italy platform currently includes patient associations such as FAVO, ACTO and Fondazione Melanoma. Use of content from this website is permitted provided that the source of information is clearly mentioned.
All.Can is a trademark of The Health Policy Partnership Ltd.