Cancer patients in Poland have limited access to treatment consistent with contemporary medical knowledge. Oncoindex is the first portal to demonstrate the level of reimbursement of cancer medicines in Poland, medicines which are registered in Europe since 2004 and recommended by European Society for Medical Oncology. The Oncoindex can have a value between -100 and 0. A value of -100 means that patients have no access to any of the recommended medicine, while a value of zero means that every patient can be treated in line with current medical knowledge. Find out which therapies are recommended by scientists for different types of cancer and which of them are reimbursed in Poland.

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Find a medicine used for a given type of cancer and check whether it is reimbursed


The most important facts about cancer treatment

  • 84% of medicines recommended by scientists are not available or subject to restrictions

    As part of the Oncoindex project, we monitor access to treatment for 19 types of cancer. Among 93 medicines registered in Europe since 2004 and recommended by the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) for the treatment of solid tumours and haemato-oncological diseases, only 15 (16%) are available in line with the recommended standard. The remaining medicines are either not reimbursed at all (47%), or subject to restrictions which are not justified by medical reasons and are associated with budgetary limitations (37%). Ovarian cancer is, from among all the cancers we have investigated, the only cancer that Polish doctors can treat in accordance with current medical knowledge with the full range of medicines specified in international treatment standards.

  • Cancer tsunami

    There are an increasing number of cancer patients among the Polish population: every year there are approximately 160,000 new cases and between 1999 and 2014, cancer incidence rose by 42%. Over the next decade, this ratio will grow by a further 25%. In the same period, the number of cancer-related deaths was 1.6 million. It could be compared to the disappearance of the cities of Poznań, Szczecin and Łódź. One in four citizens will develop cancer and one in five will die of cancer.

  • No strategy

    In Europe, Poland is one of the last remaining countries without a document establishing a strategy to fight against cancer. Despite the right to treatment consistent with current medical knowledge provided for in the Patient Rights Act, there is no public index of compliance with this provision.

  • Cancer treatment expenditure has been growing very slowly

    Cancer treatment (and prevention) efficacy in Poland is one of the lowest in Europe: on average, out of 160,000 patients only about 66,000 (approximately 41%) will survive 5 years after the diagnosis, while in other countries with better organisation of healthcare 96,000 people would be saved (approximately 60%). The difference is approximately 30,000 individuals annually (equal to the population of the town of Augustów). Cancer is the most common cause of death at working age.

Show your support

In light of the oncology tsunami that is sweeping through our country, we call on the government and all citizens to declare war on cancer.