Access to Oncology Medicines Coalition

A UICC-led initiative pioneering access solutions for cancer medicines

ATOM Coalition: Medicines being dispensed to patient

The Access to Oncology Medicines Coalition (ATOM Coalition), led by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), is a global initiative in collaboration with over 40 partners across the private and civil society sectors. It aims to reduce cancer-related suffering and deaths by addressing the barriers to availability, affordability, and appropriate use of oncology medicines in low- and lower-middle income countries (LLMICs).

Building on UICC’s long-standing advocacy for the global availability of cancer medicines, the ATOM Coalition was created under UICC’s leadership in 2022 to further drive collective, coordinated action across the public, private and civil society sectors at the global and country level.

The access challenge

The global cancer community faces a stark challenge: in 2020, the number of new cancer cases worldwide reached almost 20 million and the estimated number of cancer-related deaths tipped over 10 million. A staggering 70% of total cancer mortalities occur in low- and middle-income countries, underscoring a significant disparity in the lack of access to essential oncology medicines and diagnostics. In fact, more than 50% of the cancer drugs on the World Health Organization Model Lists of Essential Medicines List (WHO EML) are unavailable in LMICs. Without access to them, people diagnosed with cancer face drastically reduced health outcomes and quality of life.   

Limited access to essential cancer medicines in LMICs stem from a number of complex issues, including fragile health systems, insufficient infrastructure, a lack of regulatory frameworks, inefficient procurement practices and supply chains, inadequate diagnostics and pathology, and a lack of trained health professionals.  These are key barriers that the ATOM Coalition will focus on.

Transforming access to cancer medicines

By channeling the diverse expertise and experience of UICC's global network and Coalition partners to harness collective resources for greater scale and efficiency, the ATOM Coalition is innovating a new approach to access to cancer medicines in LLMICs.

This approach complements, enhances and amplifies the impact of existing access programmes and supports their growth by developing synergies and overcoming shared challenges. Ultimately, these coordinated efforts will help to improve connectivity between different access initiatives for maximum impact.

ATOM Coalition goals  

  1. increase the availability and affordability of cancer medicines 

  1. increase the capacity to use these medicines appropriately 

The ATOM Coalition approach is centred around:

Pooling resources and know-how and coordinating capacity strengthening activities and efforts across multiple geographies. 

Focusing on a more efficient negotiation mechanism of EML cancer medicines with generic and biosimilar manufacturers—moving away from negotiating of one medicine with one country, or one organisation at a time.

Enlarging the market where countries are better able to receive medicines, helping to achieve economies of scale and increased country purchasing power that can ultimately lower prices of diagnostics services and medicines.

Creating a compelling access option for biopharmaceutical companies for future innovative oncology medicines where they do not operate.

Pat Garcia Gonzalez, Chair of the ATOM Coalition Council

Shared and strong governance

Executive Committee 

The Executive Committee is responsible for establishing and overseeing the key strategic objectives and measures for success. Core responsibilities include aligning on the Coalition's fundamental elements, including its business, funding, operating, and governance models.
Co-chaired by:
Dr Gilberto Lopes, Chief Medical Oncologist, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami
Dr Anil D'Cruz, Director, Apollo Hospitals in India

Coalition Council  

The Coalition Council actively engages in the development of the program model, providing key input into annual work plans and priorities including the M&E framework. 
Chaired by: Pat Garcia, CEO, The Max Foundation 

Private Sector Council

The Private Sector Council leverage industry expertise and experience with members providing key input into the Coalition's operations and activities, as well as financial and technical support for ATOM Coalition target countries. 
Chaired by: Michele Mestrinaro, Vice President and Global Head of Policy and Growth of Global Public Affairs Policy, Novartis 

Country Coordination Groups

The Country Coordination Group (CCG) ensures coordination of activities in-country. Its core responsibilities include conducting a needs assessment, setting out priority actions, and developing an implementation plan with the engagement and participation of the government and national stakeholders.


UICC serves as secretariat to lead on strategy, foster stakeholder cooperation, and coordinate efforts and activities at the global and country levels.
Executive Director: Dr Dan Milner  

Join the ATOM Coalition

Be part of the UICC-led efforts to reduce suffering and deaths caused by cancer in low- and lower-middle income countries through improved access to and use of essential cancer medicines.

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