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Movement Against Cancer, a Cancer Patient Advocacy Group in Russia, Launches an Effort to Inform Russian Authorities and the Public About Inadequate Access of Innovative and Effective Cancer Treatments for Cancer Patients in Russia

- Advocacy Group Urges Russian President Vladimir Putin to Adopt a National

Plan Against Cancer -

MOSCOW, Feb. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- The Movement Against Cancer, a cancer patient advocacy group in Russia, today launched an effort to inform Russian authorities and the public about inadequate access for cancer patients in Russia to innovative and effective treatments, including diagnostic procedures and the latest anti-cancer drugs. The advocacy group has appealed directly to Russian President Vladimir Putin, urging the Russian government to adopt A National Plan Against Cancer which would include funding for innovative diagnostics and treatment methods, including a special federal reimbursement program to cover the cost of innovative anti-cancer drugs.

"The Movement Against Cancer is an advocacy group, that seeks to work cooperatively with the Russian federal and regional authorities to improve the quality of cancer care in Russia," said Anna Larionova, a cancer patient and one of the leaders of the non-partisan Movement Against Cancer. "It is an organization defending patients' rights and seeking to mobilize society for the fight against cancer."

The cancer patient rights advocacy group organized its first forum on February 4, 2008, World Day for Fighting Cancer. The Movement Against Cancer's forum's theme is cancer is not a death sentence and it can be defeated with proper treatment. The Movement Against Cancer organizing committee is comprised of people who have been successful in their fight against cancer - patients, cancer survivors, doctors, relatives and friends. Forum participants appealed to the Russian government to include the highly aggressive form of breast cancer into the Federal Expensive Drugs Reimbursement Program, a program that funds drug access for patients with rare diseases that can be controlled through expensive drug therapies.

"State guarantees for the rights of cancer patients to free access to effective diagnostic and treatment methods are under-funded today," said Ilona Vasilieva, a cancer patient, and one of the leaders of the Movement Against Cancer. "Patients should use legal recourse to fight for their rights including filing legal claims in cases when they were refused innovative anti- cancer drugs. The Movement against Cancer will help patients fight for their rights."

"Today it is possible to prolong and save lives of cancer patients who were doomed 10-20 years ago, but there is a shortage of innovative cancer drugs due to under-funding," said Oleg Melnikov, oncologist. "Oncologists have to prescribe less effective treatment to their patients. Now, it is necessary to guarantee cancer patients' rights to free access to the most effective treatment methods."

The Movement Against Cancer unites patients and doctors to inform cancer patients about their rights for access to effective and innovative cancer treatments. The Movement seeks to broaden the understanding of Russian society and the Russian government of the problems cancer patients, survivors and family members face when encountering the disease and what should be done on a public policy level to improve cancer patient care and patient access to effective treatment. The anti-cancer group disseminates reliable information about modern cancer treatment methods, protects cancer patients' rights, and advocates for patients' equal and guaranteed access to innovative cancer treatments.

Contact: Darren Spinck 1-202-486-2008


SOURCE The Movement Against Cancer
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