News from the ISOPP Advocacy Committee

The Advocacy Committee remains engaged on a number of fronts in conjunction with other organizations and independently.

Ongoing work includes work with the WHO on a Cancer Manual that will have resource adapted treatment regimens for low and middle income countries (LMICs) that are linked to the WHO essential medicines list for cancer (EMLcancer).  The manual will have chapters devoted to specific disease sites and ISOPP advocacy members will be assigned to each chapter working/writing group.  ISOPP will also be providing recommendations on anti-emetic regimens to be utilized with each of the regimens in the manual, which are also linked to medications on the EML.  With the COVID pandemic now in 6-7th wave globally, work on the manual has been disappointingly and frustratingly slow.  On a positive note, Esin Aysel Kandemir ISOPP Advocacy Co-chair has been invited to join the WHO EML Secretariat as an Oncology Pharmacist representative.  Congratulations Esin!  Also on the WHO EML front, the next review of the WHO EML is scheduled to take place in 2023, and ISOPP has been approached by a working group based in Spain that is making a submission to include oral fentanyl to the list of agents used for palliation.  Details of ISOPP’s role in supporting this submission are currently being worked out.

We will be starting work on a couple of new initiatives; ones that new, enthusiastic oncology pharmacy practitioners, in particular those from LMICs may be particularly interested in.  As you know, the most recent ISOPP Standards Oncology Pharmacy Practice/Safe Handling of anti-neoplastics were published earlier this year.  One of the initial mandates of the Advocacy committee was to survey/audit compliance to these new standards with the help of the International Union for cancer control (UICC) and identify themes/gaps in meeting these standards and then with the help/support of UICC and its member organizations, work to bridge/fill these gaps.  A prime example of how our Practice Standards can serve as an advocacy tool.

The second initiative will be publication of a position paper on the impact of the COVID pandemic on health care human resources globally.  The focus of the position statement will be on health care systems (Nationally/regionally) resolving their human resource issues (if existent) locally.  At this point we’re not sure if this will be an ISOPP solo position paper or whether it will be done jointly with other Oncology focused societies/organizations.  

If you are interested in joining the Advocacy Committee and working on any of these initiatives or have other initiatives you think we should start working on/towards feel free to contact myself and Esin via email:  or