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PURPOSE: There is an urgent need to improve access to cancer therapy globally. Several independent initiatives have been undertaken to improve access to cancer medicines, and additional new initiatives are in development. Improved sharing of experiences and increased collaboration are needed to achieve substantial improvements in global access to essential oncology medicines. METHODS: The inaugural Access to Essential Cancer Medicines Stakeholder Meeting was organized by ASCO and convened at the June 2022 ASCO Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL, with two subsequent meetings, Union for International Cancer Control World Cancer Congress held in Geneva, Switzerland, in October 2022 and at the ASCO Annual Meeting in June of 2023. Invited stakeholders included representatives from cancer institutes, physicians, researchers, professional societies, the pharmaceutical industry, patient advocacy organizations, funders, cancer organizations and foundations, policy makers, and regulatory bodies. The session was moderated by ASCO. Past efforts and current and upcoming initiatives were initially discussed (2022), updates on progress were provided (2023), and broad agreement on resulting action steps was achieved with participants. RESULTS: Summit participants recognized that while much work was ongoing to enhance access to cancer therapeutics globally, communication and synergy across projects and organizations could be enhanced by providing a platform for collaboration and shared expertise. CONCLUSION: The summit resulted in new cross-stakeholder insights and planned collaboration addressing barriers to accessing cancer medications. Specific actions and timelines for implementation and reporting were established.

Original publication




Journal article


JCO Glob Oncol

Publication Date





Humans, Health Services Accessibility, Neoplasms, Global Health, Antineoplastic Agents, Stakeholder Participation, Drugs, Essential