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Essential cancer drugs

The umbrella organisation has been extremely active in the field of advocacy in recent months.  Together with the nine Swiss hospitals that treat children with cancer, we have vehemently mobilised at federal level and in public against a report published by the Federal Council. Surprisingly, this report came to the conclusion that in the field of paediatric oncology almost 100 per cent of costs are covered. This statement is a clear contradiction of what paediatric oncologists and affected parents experience in their everyday lives. On the basis of this report, the Federal Council announced that it saw no need for action on the reimbursement for cancer drugs for children.

Meeting with the FOPH in the Federal Parliament

This is why Valérie Braidi-Ketter, CEO of Childhood Cancer Switzerland, together with paediatric oncologist Pierluigi Brazzola (MD) and National Councillor Manuela Weichelt, met up with representatives of the FOPH for talks in the Federal Parliament. The aim was to explain the difficulties families and paediatric oncologists are regularly faced with and thus reveal the weaknesses of the report. For example, it has become apparent that the statement on a reimbursement rate of almost 100 per cent was based on just eight responses from more than fifty health insurance companies in Switzerland. In turn this means that more than forty health insurance companies did not answer this important question. At the same time, the umbrella organisation sensitised both the public and political decision-makers to this important issue in a very successful media campaign.

Second report demanded from the National Council

Against this backdrop, the majority of the National Council’s Committee for Social Security and Health has now demanded that the question of approving the applications be dealt with again in an additional report. The National Council accepted this proposal. Childhood Cancer Switzerland welcomes the recognition of the urgent need for action and the fact that an additional report is re-evaluating the difficulties involved in the reimbursement of the costs of vital medicines for children with cancer.