Cancer: "Minister, please take a look at this issue of innovative medicines"

Therapeutic innovation is expensive and France does not have the means to afford certain treatments, thus condemning patients to an uncertain outcome. Dr. Jean-François Lemoine addresses the topic of loss of opportunity with Professor Thierry Lebret, Chief of the Department of Urology at Foch Hospital, and Professor Stéphane Oudard, Chief of Oncology at Georges Pompidou Hospital , in the program Health in questions.

The American Congress of Oncology, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), which brought together 40,000 delegates from June 1 to 5 in Chicago, was the opportunity to present the latest therapeutic advances to the entire community world scientist. Organized by the pharmaceutical industry, this event has allowed to discover new innovative treatments, but overpriced.

In addition to the revolutionary aspect of these medical advances, some questions remain: who will be able to afford this kind of innovative treatment? Can changing treatments lead to loss of opportunity for some patients? Are they condemned for lack of means? "If we do not give ourselves the means to offer these innovative drugs to all patients who can benefit, we can clearly speak of loss of luck ...", lamented on the spot Muriel Dahan, director of recommendations and drug to the Inca.

"Awaken" public opinion and the government

Would therapeutic innovation go too fast for institutions? Dr. Jean-François Lemoine interviewed Professor Thierry Lebret, head of the urology department at Foch Hospital in Suresnes, and Professor Stéphane Oudard, head of the oncology department at the Georges Pompidou Hospital, on his show Health in questions. Both decided to warn public opinion about these disparities.

"I think that when there is a therapeutic innovation in bladder cancer for example, whose prognosis is quite bleak, the doctors we are trying to access to win weeks, months or years and improve the quality of life ", explains Thierry Lebret. "We want to shout a little to wake everyone and have access to these therapies that are already used across the Atlantic and that for now we do not have in France". "We attend many oral presentations at these conferences, adds Professor Oudard, and when we return to France, we unfortunately can not use these molecules.

This is particularly the case of immunotherapy. This revolutionary treatment, which stimulates the immune system of the body to fight against different diseases, is effective in 25 to 30% of patients who did not have chemotherapy. However, too expensive, the treatment will soon be reimbursed, so more prescribed in France. Only the privileged will be able to benefit from it abroad, modeling a system of health at two speeds and digging a little more the inequalities.

"We're told it's a question of costs"

After suffering from advanced bladder cancer with bone metastases, Catherine Assemat explains in this show how immunotherapy has allowed her to recover a better quality of life after the failure of chemotherapy. "I was lucky to be one of the first patients to benefit from immunotherapy in the public domain (...) It was urgent that I receive this treatment, because I was really in very, very bad condition ".

Nine weeks after the beginning of the immunotherapy, the treatment showed a success rate of 41% on its tumors: "I had recovered a normal life, a total autonomy Without this tool there, it recognizes, I think that I'm so happy that this drug has been beneficial to me, that I do not dare to imagine that we can not continue to use it, we're told it's a question costs, results (...) If we do not allow someone to live while we have a tool that allows it, yes we condemn it ".

"I think that Agnes Buzyn has other things to do, but it would be urgent to seize," laments Catherine Assemat. And to continue facing the camera: "Madam Minister please, look at this issue of access to innovative medicines that treat patients, because there are lives to save, quickly."