How pharma can help the post-COVID recovery of European cancer care

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The new Cancer Care in Europe: Recovering from COVID-19 Disruption white paper assesses the disruption to patient care and the changes physicians implemented during the acute phase of the pandemic, with a focus on the way in which treatment strategies were altered.

The publication, which has been supported by Accord Healthcare, also provides a series of recommendations for how the pharmaceutical industry can continue to support cancer care for the next 12 months and looks at what physicians want, and need, from the industry.

It's clear that the acute phase of the pandemic had a huge impact on cancer care across Europe. Healthcare services were repurposed to combat COVID-19, surgical procedures postponed, screening programmes paused, and patients avoided healthcare facilities.

In the UK, urgent consultant diagnosis cancer referrals plummeted by 60% in April 2020, not only swelling subsequent waiting lists but possibly resulting in many patients’ diseases being at a more serious stage when they are eventually seen.

The publication provides a series of recommendations for how pharma can continue to support cancer care and looks at what physicians want from the industry

Furthermore, the significant backlog of untreated patients that has built up means that primary and secondary care services will be unable to return to full capacity for some time.

Consequently, there is a huge need for pharma to support the post- COVID-19 restoration of cancer care and help healthcare services to recover from the immense disruption wrought by the virus.

Moving through 2021 and beyond, the situation remains critical, with concerning short and long-term implications for patients and their care.

Thankfully, the pandemic has also acted as a catalyst in the healthcare sector, encouraging new ways of working, adapting to new technologies and treating patients.

It’s also led HCPs to change some of their cancer treatment strategies, such as switching to oral medication and treating patients at home, and in some instances those changes will remain.

Read Cancer Care in Europe: Recovering from COVID-19 Disruption in full

The publication of the article was financially supported by Accord Healthcare, who were given the opportunity to review the article for scientific accuracy before submission. Any resulting changes were made at the expert reviewers’ discretion.