CANCER CONTROL, ACCESS, AND INEQUALITY IN LATIN AMERICA: A TALE OF LIGHT AND SHADOW

Cancer currently accounts for 19% of deaths in Latin America. The number of deaths is expected to double by 2035 (106% increase), partly due to inequalities in access to cancer care and treatment – demonstrating the urgency of this growing issue for Latin American governments.

The “Cancer Control, Access and Inequality in Latin America” report developed by The Economist Intelligence Unit and sponsored by Roche describes the current cancer situation in 12 countries in Central and South America and shows how each is battling the growing disease burden.
The report is based on the Latin America Cancer Control Scorecard (LACCS), which assesses policies and programs designed to reduce inequality in cancer-care access in 12 Latin American countries.
Key takeaways include:

• Older cancer treatments are largely available in the 12 assessed countries, but new or novel treatments are rarely in country formularies. For example, no novel lung therapies are provided by the countries included in the study.
• 4.6% of GDP is the average government spending on health in the countries examined in the study (OECD average: 7.7%). Budgets, personnel, equipment, and other resources for cancer control will have to be bolstered to meet current and future needs.
• Inequalities in access to cancer care are a major problem. Access is worse for those unable to afford private insurance or to obtain social security-based insurance through their employment.
• Cancer control in rural areas remains a concern. Specialist human resources and equipment are concentrated in urban areas, making diagnosis less likely and adding travel expenses to already significant treatment costs.
Policymakers will need to tackle these inequalities to ensure continued progress in cancer control.
Find the full report and infographic at the link below: http://www.eiuperspectives.economist.com/LACCS

By Luciano Zylberberg (ROCHE)

Leave a Comment