ESMO announces scale to stratify magnitude of clinical benefit of anti-cancer medicines
Lugano, 1 June 2015 - ESMO announced the publication of the ESMO Magnitude of Clinical Benefit Scale (ESMO-MCBS), a tool to assist oncology clinicians in evaluating the most effective anti-cancer medicines for their patients.
The ESMO-MCBS offers a rational, structured and consistent approach to 'stratify' a drug's clinically meaningful benefit.
"While it is known that the value of any new treatment is determined by the magnitude of its clinical benefit against its cost, to date there has not been a standard tool for grading such magnitude," says Nathan Cherny, Medical Oncology Department, Shaare Zedek Medical Center, Israel.
"As the international organisation committed to the interest of the oncology community at large, we are concerned about some anti-cancer medicines approved by the European Medicines Agency not being available or affordable to patients when prescribed," says Rolf Stahel, ESMO President. "With the ESMO-MCBS, we aim to signal drugs with a large magnitude of clinical benefit which should be endorsed across Europe for rapid patient access."
The ESMO-MCBS can be used in a range of settings, e.g. in public policy decision-making, to develop and/or improve clinical guidelines, in day-to-day clinical situations.
"In the absence of a standardised approach for grading the magnitude of clinical benefit, conclusions and recommendations derived from studies are often hotly disputed," says Elisabeth G.E. de Vries, Medical Oncology Department, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Netherlands, ESMO-MCBS Task Force Co-Chair.
"Application of the Scale will reduce the likelihood that statements of clinical benefit will be distorted," de Vries continues.
"As part of ESMO's ongoing work to integrate all aspects of oncology, we believe that a scale highlighting the most clinically effective new medicines plus a snapshot perception survey on the availability and affordability of existing medicines will provide useful insights for the oncology community to help move cancer treatment forward," says Alexandru Eniu, Day Hospital Unit Head, Cancer Institute Ion Chiricuta, Cluj-Napoca, Romania, ESMO Board member, ESMO Emerging Countries Committee Chair, co-project leader of the ESMO European Consortium Study on the Availability of Anti-Neoplastic Medicines.
Richard Sullivan, Kings Health Partners Integrated Cancer Centre, King's College London, Institute of Cancer Policy, comments: "The ESMO-MCBS is an important first step to the critical public policy issue of value in cancer care, helping to frame the appropriate use of limited public and personal resources to deliver cost effective and affordable cancer care."
The European Society for Medical Oncology is the leading European professional organisation committed to advancing the specialty of medical oncology to advance cancer patient care. www.esmo.org
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