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Isabel Mestres: Are we investing smartly?
Dec 12, 2023, 17:55

Isabel Mestres: Are we investing smartly?

Isabel Mestres, CEO at City Cancer Challenge Foundation, shared the following post on LinkedIn:

”Innovation in cancer care over the last 20 years is not reaching patients in LMICs. Are we investing smartly?

Based on different sources, $80 billions are invested annually towards cancer drug development by the industry and from the public and philanthropy sector over $24.5 billion were invested in cancer research between 2016 and 2020 but only 2% of this goes towards implementation research.

Despite these incredible efforts on R and D, with little investment in implementation strategies to strengthen health systems and equitable access to cancer care in LMIC, the advances won’t reach patients in low resource settings, which account for 80% of the cancer burden.

How do we ensure that advances in cancer care reach everyone, not just those living in high-resource settings?

We must align funding with the actual global cancer burden, fostering research relevant to LMICs and building research capacity within these countries. The current lack of emphasis on implementation research impacts our ability to deliver innovation in low-resource settings that translate into affordable and equitable outcomes.

Moreover, we should recognize that not all standards are universal. LMICs require adaptable regulations that don’t suffocate their evolving health systems. Community-led solutions are critical for navigating these nuances, and organisations like City Cancer Challenge are instrumental in highlighting when excessive constraints hinder access to essential medications, devices and services.

Let’s champion a redistribution of investment in cancer research, prioritizing areas crucial for LMICs. It’s time to Close The Care Gap, ensuring that health systems in these regions are equipped to tackle the unique challenges they face. Together, we can create a more inclusive and effective global strategy against cancer.

I would like to thank Bob Li and Jing Qian for inviting me to share these thoughts during the Cure4Cancer Conference 2023 and the 6th Annual Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Chinese Thoracic Oncology Group Symposium hosted by the Asia Society.”

Source: Isabel Mestres/LinkedIn