The Newest Therapies Waiting for Social Security Inclusion Might Represent an Opportunity for Thousands of Hungarian Cancer Patients

Year 2022-24 motto of the World Cancer Day, which has been held for 22 years worldwide is: Equitable care for everyone – the gap can be eliminated. The motto of the campaign is not a coincidence. While there is a definitely new era in oncology, sincethe greater than 5-year survival rate has increased by 41 percent over 15 years worldwide,the newest therapies are not equally available for patients. However, with the earliest possible approval of the oncological therapies currently waiting for social security inclusion, many newer medicinal treatments could become available for thousands of Hungarian patients.

Medicinal therapies treating cancer are undergoing massive development: currently, there are more than 1,800 new medicinal products under hopeful development, specifically targeting the treatment of oncological diseases. More than 1,200 targeted clinical trials were initiated in 2020 alone, and more than 200 promising immuno-oncological developments are currently under way.The results provided by advanced medicinal products is supported by the fact that although the number of patients diagnosed with cancer has increased by almost 50 percent since 2000 in Europe, the mortality rate is rising at a slower rate than the number of new cases. However, mortality rates related to cancer are the worst in Hungary within the continent: 35,000 Hungarians die annually due to malignant diseases. 

The fact that several anticancer therapies have been included into social security subsidy at the end of December, after a two-year pause, supports overcoming this relative disadvantage. The National Health Insurance Fund of Hungary has additionally introduced another 75 new medicinal products for inclusion last autumn, covering several indications, where the health indicators of the Hungarian population are particularly poor in an international comparison.If these got included in the therapies with social security subsidy, several newer oncology medicinal treatments would become available for thousands of Hungarian patients. 

Almost half of the therapies waiting for the final decision provide new solution for diseases with an oncological origin”, said dr. Péter Holchacker, director of the Association of Innovative Pharmaceutical Manufacturers. The expert emphasized:By a much more fluent inclusion decision making, we could become frontrunners again among the Visegrad countries, so that as many Hungarians as possible can receive the most promising therapy as soon as possible, similarly to citizens of the other V4 countries.”