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MedUni Vienna: “Austrian cancer patients boast best care EU-wide”

(Vienna, 12 April 2010) As reported by the UK papers The Daily Mail and The Guardian on 11 April 2010, Tory leader David Cameron is the first top politician to make the supply of patients with state-of-the-art cancer medication a key issue of his election campaign: he claims that many cancer patients are not provided with optimal care because the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), which is responsible for the decision on the coverage of costs for medication, often does not recommend the financing of expensive cancer drugs for economic reasons. This, adds Cameron, leads to an undersupply of the English population with the latest cancer medication.

Austria, however, tops the list of countries regarding the financing of cancer medication in the EU comparison with 3.5 million euros per 100,000 inhabitants and is among the best in Europe in terms of cancer survival rates, according to the EUROCARE study. This applies to nearly all cancer types. "In Austria we achieve the best treatment results across Europe for cancer patients and this means we rank among the leaders in all evaluations," says Univ. Prof. Dr. Christoph Zielinski, Head of the Department of Medicine I, which focuses on oncology. With its cancer centre, MedUni Vienna has for many years played a major role in the speedy implementation of research findings in clinical practice.

"Above all in cases of breast, lung, kidney, colon, lymph node cancer and cancer of the central nervous system, MedUni Vienna has supplied major findings through clinical studies in recent years, thus contributing to a marked improvement of the survival rate. For this reason, living with cancer has already become more real than 10 years ago," adds Zielinski. This optimal care is due to smooth interdisciplinary cooperation at MedUni Vienna. It is also planned to formally establish this model soon in the form of the Comprehensive Cancer Centre at MedUni Vienna and the General Hospital (AKH) and to coordinate clinical care of patients with cancer, cancer research and teaching between the disciplines even better than before.