Access to essential cancer medicines

The purpose of this course is to review the landscape and challenges of essential cancer medicine access, especially in developing countries, and delve into a methodology for evaluating medicine availability and approaches to mitigating drug stock-outs. The course will take a holistic evaluation of  barriers/issues around cancer medicine access, including factors unrelated to price, and will focus on potential solutions to mitigating the various challenges around access.

Target Audience

The following audience would particularly benefit from this course:

  • Providers who prescribe and administer chemotherapy.
  • Agencies involved in formulation, procurement and supply of national essential medicines for cancer treatment
  • Advocates promoting better access, with a focus on low and middle income countries.

Learning Objectives

After completion of the course participants will be able to understand:

  1. Describe the current landscape of essential cancer medicine access and identify challenges related to cancer medicine access globally, with a focus on developing countries
  2. Examine measures and definitions of cancer medicines access and its impact on clinical health outcomes
  3. Report on potential solutions to mitigating cancer therapy access
  4. Provide a holistic evaluation of cancer medicine access, including factors unrelated to drug price, by examination of external health system and patient factors related to access.

Course Timeline

1 May - 12 June 2020 Applications open
15 - 30 June 2020 Review of applications and notification of selected participants
July - October 2020 Master course delivery
Meet the course faculty

Course Leaders 

Yehoda Martei

Yehoda Martei

Title: Assistant Professor of Medicine
Organisation: University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Martei is a medical oncologist and clinical epidemiologist holding faculty positions at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) and the University of Botswana. She is also a global health scholar at the Penn Center for Global Health. Her primary research focus is on evaluating and implementing strategies for high quality guideline-concordant therapy delivery in breast cancer patients in Sub Saharan Africa. Under this umbrella she has led research and published on access to essential cancer medicines and impact on therapy delivery with a focus on Botswana. She’s served on international panels evaluating cancer medicines access, including UICC Taskforce for the selection of essential cancer medicines and is currently a member of the Scientific Advisory Panel for the Medicines Patent Pool.


Shalini Jayasekar-Zürn

Shalini Jayasekar-Zürn

Title: Senior Advocacy Manager
Organisation: Union for International Cancer Control (UICC)

Shalini is the focal point for the work on access to treatment in UICC. She is a biologist by training and has extensive experience on the issues of access to quality assured medicines.  She gained experience on this topic by working on the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines with the World Health Organization, MSF’s Access Campaign in India and other NGOs at international and national level. She also has experience working with the pharmaceutical industry.

Course Contributors

  • Hans V Hogerzeil, Groningen University
  • Kiu Siang Tay, World Health Organization
  • David Danko, Ideas & Solutions (I&S)
  • Guy Muller, The Dutch Cancer Society
  • Bo Yu, International Society of Oncology Pharmacy Practitioners (ISOPP)
  • Irene Weru, International Society of Oncology Pharmacy Practitioners (ISOPP)
  • Annemeri Livinalli, International Society of Oncology Pharmacy Practitioners (ISOPP)
  • Nalini Kaushik, Aequitas Consulting
  • Vasanti Natarajan, Biocon Biologics
  • Amy Shih, Biocon Biologics
  • Esteban Burrone, The Medicines Patent Pool

Course Sponsor

This course is kindly sponsored by 

Last update: 
Tuesday 15 September 2020