Home Health Cancer in France: Is faster access always better?

Cancer in France: Is faster access always better?


France has some of the best cancer treatment in the world — and with some of the lowest out-of-pocket costs, too.

However, experts gathered in Paris for our Global Policy Lab roundtable acknowledged that this combination may not be sustainable, both from a financial and political perspective. (The conversation took place a few days after the sixth weekend of protests by the Yellow Jackets movement, which remains undeterred despite President Emmanuel Macrons budget-busting concessions.)

Indeed, our discussion revealed that Macron has traveled to Denmark for inspiration on how to overhaul the French health care system. One advantage the Danes have: The time between when a drug is approved and when its actually available to patients is much shorter in Denmark than in France.

Then again, some on the call werent convinced that speedy access is such a good thing.

Experimental cancer medicines are increasingly being allowed onto the market even though their long-term efficacy hasnt been proven. This means IT systems that can help track real world results of those medications will be all the more crucial — not only in determining whether those drugs should still be prescribed, but also how much they should cost.

That brought us to data collection and trust. Participants from industry, patient and consumer groups discussed how to assure people that sharing their personal information is worth any compromises on privacy. You can listen to the audio of the call below.


  • Antonella Cardone, director of the European Cancer Patient Coalition
  • Henriette Rosenquist, country manager, Pfizer
  • Jean-Pierre Thierry, medical adviser, France Assos Santé
  • Héctor Upegui, associate chief health officer and worldwide market development executive, IBM Watson Health

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