Clash of cultures: the economic sustainability of cancer care and research across Europe

Richard Sullivan1

1King’s College London, UK


Cancer has a major economic impact across all European member states, estimated now to be over 185 billion euros every year, both in terms of direct costs of care, informal costs and productivity losses due to premature mortality and morbidity. Socio-demographic, particularly increasing inequality and social exclusion, political and fiscal factors are having significant negative effects on the sustainability of cancer costs, yet there has been little critical examination of public policy around national models of care and research. Our analysis of the European research landscape demonstrates significant disconnection and contradiction from a policy agenda that could deliver affordable, equitable cancer care. Furthermore macroeconomic projections suggest that many member states in Europe will never achieve affordable care, instead becoming increasingly unequal in their delivery of cancer services without radical re-structuring. The impact for Europe with its free movement of people is significant, and data will be presented to show projections to 2025.