The SIOP PODC Essential Medicines Working Group is committed to research and advocacy that seeks to improve knowledge on, and access to, essential medicines for children with cancer in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The group has representation from WHO, the pharmaceutical industry, clinical pharmacy, non-governmental organizations, patient advocacy groups, clinical pharmacology, pediatric oncology and the regulatory sector. We aim to work collaboratively with other SIOP PODC working groups and with external organizations involved in the care of children with cancer in LMICs. New members are welcome.

Overarching Objectives

Professional dialogue/education/collaboration

  • Amongst SIOP working groups
  • Between institutions, organizations, various stakeholders

Public awareness/advocacy efforts

  • Open channels of dialogue and information sharing with patient organizations, advocacy groups, patients/families, general public

Enhanced knowledge on essential oncology medicines issues in LMICs

  • Access issues related to: production and supply, cost, regulatory environments
  • Provenance and quality
  • Rational use and resource-appropriate treatment protocols


Position papers

  • Suite of 6 positions papers addressing key issues related to access to essential cancer drugs for children, from various stakeholder perspectives

Essential medicines surveys

  • Surveys of SIOP and CCI members from various LMICs to understand prevalence and patterns of drug access issues
  • SIOP-ESMO global anti-neoplastics survey collaboration


  • Development of online platform for sharing and dissemination of issues and knowledge on essential medicines vis-à-vis children with cancer in LMICs

Pharmacovigilance/drug quality research

  • WHO-partnered work on drug quality testing of asparaginase and other cytotoxic medicines in various LMICs

Drug access initiatives/partnerships

  • Exploring opportunities for formal SIOP representation/collaboration with ASCO initiative on essential medicines funding
  • SIOP-WHO collaboration on EMLc initiative
  • SIOP-UICC collaboration on:
    • WHO EMLc updates
    • WHO NCD coordinating mechanism
    • Essential cancer medicines website pediatric content management

Essential Medicines Symposium

Essential medicines symposium, SIOP 2016