Northern Ireland Cancer Research Consumer Forum (NICRCF) member, Ed Goodall, was elected in 2018 to the Patient Advisory Group of the EuropaColon organisation which incorporates researchers and healthcare professionals from nearly 40 countries.
The EuropaColon Patient Advisory Group held their most recent meeting in October 2018 in Munich in conjunction with that of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) at the Messe Grande Conference Centre, constructed on the site of the old Oberwiesenfeld airport. A main focus of the meeting was the strategic use of biosimilars which companies are allowed to make when the patent of the original medicine expires. They are usually able to produce and sell the biosimilar more cheaply than the original reference medicines. Thus, they are appealing for healthcare systems and may help to improve access to important medicines for cancer patients and, in particular, for those with metastatic colorectal cancer. A further important discussion concentrated on a strategic policy in Europe for routine screening and the optimal age at which it should be offered. The consensus appeared to be at 50 years of age and supported by more informative publicity campaigns which had been successful in some European Union countries.
In conclusion, Ed Goodall commented, ‘I left Munich, its Chocolate Box Centre dominated by the golden statuette of the Angel of Peace pointing heavenwards, buzzing with new ideas and inspired to renew efforts to finally defeat our old enemy, cancer.’