Eighteen new oncology drugs for the treatment of such diseases, among others, as lung carcinoma, myeloma and acute myeloid leukaemia, are waiting to be approved for social security subsidy in Hungary; these therapies provide a new opportunity for patients.
The Association of Innovative Pharmaceutical Manufacturers (AIPM) announced in a statement sent to Hungarian news wire MTI on the occasion of the World Cancer Day on Wednesday that they are confident that the state-of-the-art therapies will be available to Hungarian patients as soon as possible.
As it is written in the statement, data from 2018 show that within the European Union the highest number of cancer cases are diagnosed in Hungary, and the country is a leader in terms of both colon and lung cancer.
In Europe, the number of patients diagnosed with cancer has increased by nearly 50 percent in the last two decades, the mortality rate, however, is rising at a slower pace than the new cases.
The number of cancer cases is steadily rising, and cancerous diseases are second only to cardiovascular diseases in the mortality statistics worldwide. The statement cites a study by the Swedish Institute for Health Economics, which forecasts that by 2040 the number of diagnosed cancer cases in Europe could increase by a further 775,000.
In 2018, 211,000 people died of colorectal cancer in 31 European countries, according to the EU organization of European gastroenterology societies. Age-specific mortality rates in Hungary are the worst on the continent; in 2018, nearly 11,000 new cases were diagnosed and 5,000 patients lost their lives to colorectal cancer.
They point out that over the past fifty years there have been tremendous advances in anti-cancer therapies, increasing the average ten-year survival rate from 24 percent in the 1970s to nearly 50 percent.
The largest increase was achieved in prostate cancer, where the 10-year survival rate is nearly 70 percent, up from 20 percent fifty years ago. The number of cancer deaths in Europe is growing at a slower rate than that of new cases, and the number of years of work lost has also been steadily declining since 1995.
In addition to prevention and advanced screening programs, new therapies have a key role to play in improving mortality rates, and drug innovation is proceeding at an unprecedented rate.
The statement also mentions that 7,000 new drugs are currently being developed, including more than 1,800 specifically aimed at the treatment of oncological diseases; and by the middle of the last decade (2015) the innovative pharmaceutical industry had been spending around 8.5 billion euros per year on cancer research in the European Union.
AIPM emphasizes, however, that new, modern products can only achieve results if they are available to Hungarian patients in a timely manner. That is why it is important that the 18 new oncology products currently waiting to be accepted for support become available in Hungary as soon as possible, the statement quoted Péter Holchacker, director of the association.