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New Report Calls for Action to Address Disparity in Multiple Myeloma Care Across Europe 2014-09-03 11:32:01

New Report Calls for Action to Address Disparity in Multiple Myeloma Care Across Europe

Satu Kaarina Glawe
Mobile: +49 (172) 294 6264

A report, released today, highlights significant progress made in the care of patients with Multiple Myeloma, whilst also calling for action to be taken to ensure that all patients have access to appropriate care across Europe. The Creating Myeloma History report – designed as a tool for change – tackles serious issues that continue to exist in the treatment of Multiple Myeloma. These include the need for greater awareness, earlier diagnosis and access to optimal care to improve all patients’ ability to fight this disease.

“We very much welcome the launch of this report, which we hope will be used as an effective tool to support conversations about improving treatment and care and raising awareness of the unmet needs of Multiple Myeloma patients that still exist,” commented Eric Low, CEO, Myeloma UK and Vice Chair, Myeloma Patients Europe (MPE). “Multiple Myeloma patients have benefited greatly from the introduction of new effective treatments and an improved understanding of the biology of this cancer over the last 10 to 15 years. However, many challenges still remain for the 39,000 people diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in Europe every year.1 Disparity in access to new treatments and psychological care is widespread across Europe. As a community, we also need to greatly improve the way in which the patient voice is involved in prioritising and designing research and treatment and care models in Multiple Myeloma.”

In the last ten years the survival rates for Multiple Myeloma patients have approximately doubled; a testimony to the remarkable work and collaborative efforts of those within the Multiple Myeloma community.2 However, this disease continues to suffer from a high rate of misdiagnosis or late diagnosis meaning, even today, up to one quarter of patients with Multiple Myeloma still die within a year of their diagnosis.3,4 Equally as concerning is the fact that many countries, particularly across the Eastern European region, are continuing to suffer from a lack of access to optimal treatments and holistic support for patients and families. It is predicted that, in just over ten years, the number of people diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma will rise to 46,000; around 18% higher than today’s figure.1 Unless action is taken by all those concerned, this disparity is set to widen, leaving more and more patients without vital care needed.

The Creating Myeloma History report identifies three critical issues that need to be addressed to ensure optimal health outcomes for Multiple Myeloma patients:

  • Diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma:
    • Improving earlier diagnosis of this cancer by raising awareness and preventing misdiagnosis.
  • Access to optimal care and treatment:
    • Leading the change for stratified care, where individual needs and treatments are considered.
    • Supporting better access to medicines and care across Europe, including Eastern European countries.
  • Quality of life for patients and those who care for them:
    • Ensuring that quality of life is at the forefront of care in Multiple Myeloma for both patients and those who support them.

“Janssen is committed to improving the lives of people diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, and to transforming it into a manageable, chronic, and potentially curable, illness in the not-too-distant future,” commented Jane Griffiths, Company Group Chairman, Janssen Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). “We realise that the achievements of the past have only been made possible by the collective efforts of many groups, often working together for a single cause. We now need to ensure this progress and collaboration continues as we strive towards better care for all those affected by Multiple Myeloma, regardless of where they live.”

The full report and its recommendations can be viewed online at

# ENDS #

About the Creating Myeloma History report panel

The report has been developed by Janssen in collaboration with MPE, with the support of an expert panel of physicians and patient group partners:

Mira Armour Director, Mijelom CRO and Treasurer, Myeloma Patients Europe, Croatia

Roman Hajek Head of the Department of Haematooncology at the University Hospital and the Faculty of Medicine, University of Ostrava, Czech Republic

Eric Low CEO, Myeloma UK and Vice Chair, Myeloma Patients Europe, United Kingdom

Philippe Moreau Head of the Department of Haematology, University Hospital Hôtel-Dieu, Nantes, France

Ananda Plate Operations Manager, Myeloma Patients Europe, Belgium

Anita Waldmann Chairwoman of LHRM / Myelom-Gruppe LHRM (Leukämiehilfe Rhein-Main e.V)

Sonja Zweegman Professor of Haematology, VU University Medical Center, Head of the Department of Haematology, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

About Multiple Myeloma

Multiple Myeloma is an incurable blood cancer that starts in the bone marrow and is characterised by an excess proliferation of abnormal plasma cells.5 It is the second most frequent form of malignant bone marrow diseases and is a relatively rare form of cancer that accounts for roughly one percent of all cancers and roughly two percent of all deaths from cancer. In Europe, around 39,000 people are living with the disease and there are 24,295 deaths every year.6

About Janssen

Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson and Johnson are dedicated to addressing and solving the most important unmet medical needs of our time, including oncology (e.g. Multiple Myeloma and prostate cancer), immunology (e.g. psoriasis), neuroscience (e.g. schizophrenia, dementia and pain), infectious disease (e.g. HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C and tuberculosis), and cardiovascular and metabolic diseases (e.g. diabetes). Driven by our commitment to patients, we develop sustainable, integrated healthcare solutions by working side-by-side with healthcare stakeholders, based on partnerships of trust and transparency. More information can be found on Follow us on for our latest news.

This press release contains "forward-looking statements" as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The reader is cautioned not to rely on these forward-looking statements. These statements are based on current expectations of future events. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or unknown risks or uncertainties materialise, actual results could vary materially from the expectations and projections of Janssen Cilag International NV, any of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies and/or Johnson & Johnson. Risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, general industry conditions and competition; economic factors, such as interest rate and currency exchange rate fluctuations; technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors; challenges inherent in new product development, including obtaining regulatory approvals; challenges to patents; changes in behaviour and spending patterns or financial distress of purchasers of health care products and services; changes to governmental laws and regulations and domestic and foreign health care reforms; trends toward health care cost containment; and increased scrutiny of the health care industry by government agencies. A further list and description of these risks, uncertainties and other factors can be found in Exhibit 99 of Johnson & Johnson’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 30, 2012. Copies of this Form 10-K, as well as subsequent filings, are available online at, or on request from Johnson & Johnson. None of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies nor Johnson & Johnson undertake to update any forward-looking statements as a result of new information or future events or developments.



1 GLOBOCAN 2012 Cancer Incidence, Mortality and Prevalence Worldwide. Available at: GLOBOCAN 2012 Cancer Incidence, Mortality and Prevalence Worldwide. Available at: Accessed: May 2014.

2 Myeloma Patients Europe. A Report on Myeloma Patient Perspectives. Available at: Accessed: May 2014.

3 The Myeloma Beacon. Risk of Infection Among Multiple Myeloma Patients Is High And Rising (ASH 2012). Available at: Accessed: May 2014.

4 NetDoctor. What is myeloma? Available at: Accessed: May 2014.

5 Myeloma Patients Europe – What is multiple myeloma? Available at: Accessed: May 2014.

6 GLOBOCAN 2012 fact sheet. Available at: Accessed: May 2014.

Press Information

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Hossam Abdel-Kader
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