UICC-ARO Symposium at the UICC 2016 World Cancer Congress How Can We Mobilize Action to Realize UHC in Asia?

Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2017 Nov 26;18(11):2897-2901. doi: 10.22034/APJCP.2017.18.11.2897.


The 2016 World Cancer Congress, organised by UICC, was held in Paris in November 2016, under the theme “Mobilizing action – Inspiring Change.” As part of Track 4 presentations on the theme of “Strengthening cancer control: optimizing outcomes of health systems,” UICC-Asian Regional Office (UICC-ARO) held a symposium to discuss the issue of mobilizing action to realize UHC in Asia. Introducing the symposium, Hideyuki Akaza noted that universal health coverage (UHC) is included in the Sustainable Development Goals and one of the key issues for achieving UHC will be how to balance patient needs with the economic burden of cancer. Speakers from Japan and Indonesia addressed various issues, including the current status and challenges for medical economic evaluation in Asia, the importance of resource stratification, prospects for precision medicine, and the outlook for cancer control and UHC in developing and emerging countries in Asia. Key issues raised included how to respond to the rising costs of treating cancer as new and increasingly expensive drugs come to the market. Speakers and participants noted that health technology assessment programs are being developed around Asia in order to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of drugs in the face of budgetary constraints within increasingly pressurized national health systems. The importance of screening and early detection was also noted as effective means that have the potential to reduce reliance on expensive drugs for advanced cancers. The symposium was chaired jointly by Hideyuki Akaza and Shinjiro Nozaki (WHO Kobe Centre).

Keywords: UHC; cost-effectiveness; health technology assessment; primary prevention; early detection.