Each April 7th the World Health Organization (WHO) and the healthcare community around the globe mark World Health Day. For this World Health Day, the International Neuroendocrine Cancer Alliance (INCA), and its 27 member organizations across 6 continents, join the effort of WHO to highlight the fundamental right to health of all people and to emphasize the need to build a fairer, healthier world for everyone, regardless of their gender, ethnicity, income and type of disease or its rarity.
The results from the Survey of Challenges in Access to Diagnostics and Treatments for NET Patients (SCAN), a global survey conducted by INCA with the participation of 2359 neuroendocrine tumor (NET) patients and 436 healthcare professionals, show a huge difference in the availability of most used NET treatments globally, such as somatostatin analogues being available to only 67% of patients living in countries with advanced economies (AE) and 59% of patients in emerging and developing economies (EDE). Data show that in many countries leading treatments are not even available. Around the globe NET patients have to travel a large distance, often over 250 km, just to see a specialist. Less than a third of NET patients use multidisciplinary team care, which is essential for a complicated disease such as NET. Patients living in EDE are at an even greater disadvantage to access specialists, and services such as psychological support virtually do not exist, with a usage of just 13%.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken the healthcare systems globally, pushed more people into poverty and amplified social and health inequities. INCA calls for equal access to treatments and care for all patients globally, regardless of the type of their disease, how much money they have or where they live. Ministries and healthcare institutions everywhere need to ensure that all NET treatments and care are available and accessible to everyone.
This April, INCA launches its 8-month multilingual communication campaign to raise awareness about the healthcare issues neuroendocrine tumor patients face globally. The neuroendocrine cancer community around the world joins efforts to drive change and help improve patient outcomes. Learn more and support the campaign by following @NETCancerDay on social media.