Roles of Cancer Registries in Enhancing Oncology Drug Access in the Asia-Pacific Region

  • Soon, Swee-Sung (Department of Pharmacy, National University of Singapore) ;
  • Lim, Hwee-Yong (Department of Medical Oncology, National Cancer Centre Singapore) ;
  • Lopes, Gilberto (Johns Hopkins Singapore International Medical Centre, and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine) ;
  • Ahn, Jeonghoon (Office of Health Services Research, National Evidence-based healthcare Collaborating Agency) ;
  • Hu, Min (Department of Health Economics, School of Public Health, Fudan University) ;
  • Ibrahim, Hishamshah Mohd (Department of Paediatrics, Institute of Paediatrics, Hospital Kuala Lumpur) ;
  • Jha, Anand (Market Access, Asia-Pacific South Africa, Novartis Oncology) ;
  • Ko, Bor-Sheng (Department of Internal Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital) ;
  • Lee, Pak Wai (Hospital Authority) ;
  • MacDonell, Diana (Secretariat Australia) ;
  • Sirachainan, Ekaphop (Oncology Unit, Faculty of Medicine, Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University) ;
  • Wee, Hwee-Lin (Department of Pharmacy, National University of Singapore)
  • Published : 2013.04.30


Cancer registries help to establish and maintain cancer incidence reporting system, serve as a resource for investigation of cancer and its causes, and provide information for planning and evaluation of preventive and control programs. However, their wider role in directly enhancing oncology drug access has not been fully explored. We examined the value of cancer registries in oncology drug access in the Asia-Pacific region on three levels: (1) specific registry variable types; (2) macroscopic strategies on the national level; and (3) a regional cancer registry network. Using literature search and proceedings from an expert forum, this paper covers recent cancer registry developments in eight economies in the Asia-Pacific region - Australia, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand - and the ways they can contribute to oncology drug access. Specific registry variables relating to demographics, tumor characteristics, initial treatment plans, prognostic markers, risk factors, and mortality help to anticipate drug needs, identify high-priority research area and design access programs. On a national level, linking registry data with clinical, drug safety, financial, or drug utilization databases allows analyses of associations between utilization and outcomes. Concurrent efforts should also be channeled into developing and implementing data integrity and stewardship policies, and providing clear avenues to make data available. Less mature registry systems can employ modeling techniques and ad-hoc surveys while increasing coverage. Beyond local settings, a cancer registry network for the Asia-Pacific region would offer cross-learning and research opportunities that can exert leverage through the experiences and capabilities of a highly diverse region.


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