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) is a global initiative, led by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), in collaboration with over 40 partners across the private and civil society sectors. It aims to address the barriers to availability, affordability and appropriate use of oncology medicines in low- and lower-middle income countries (LLMICs).

The ATOM Coalition ambition  

“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.” 

Discover more about the ATOM Coalition

News and Resources

Latest news

03 June 2024

ATOM Coalition signs MoU to improve access to essential cancer medicines in El Salvador.

Read the news


22 May 2023
ATOM Coalition operational plan 2023-2024 sets out how it intends to progress on key objectives to support its ambitions in the next two years.


Three areas of focus

Building on UICC’s long-standing advocacy for the global availability of cancer medicines, the ATOM Coalition is dedicated to identifying and developing access solutions that address key barriers and have the potential to make substantial impact on global efforts to increase access to essential oncology medicines and improve health systems in LLMICs. 

The ATOM Coalition will support country governments and other stakeholders through locally relevant training, skill development and infrastructure strengthening aimed at building the country’s capacity to receive and use cancer medicines. By leveraging the resources and expertise within the Coalition and engaging with UICC members, the capacity strengthening programme will focus on four key areas: 

  1. regulatory affairs 
  2. supply chain management 
  3. pathology and diagnostic infrastructure 
  4. appropriate use with patients. 

By supporting generic, biosimilar and originator manufacturers to develop, register and supply quality-assured essential cancer medicines at affordable prices, the ATOM Coalition is helping to ensure greater availability of generics and biosimilars in target countries.

Through defined sustainable medicine access pathways, the ATOM Coalition will focus on enabling access to patented medicines and new medicines in the pipeline from pharmaceutical companies over time. This includes voluntary licensing, indirect commercialisation, fostering economies of scale and extending the impact of existing donation programmes to ATOM Coalition target countries.

Harnessing collective expertise

Guided by the insights of international experts from the UICC global cancer community, the ATOM Coalition Expert Advisory Groups (EAGs) offer invaluable counsel, expertise and recommendations on key issues that impact access to prioritised essential cancer medicines and diagnostics in LLMICs and ATOM Coalition target countries.  

Chaired by Dr Gilberto Lopes, University of Miami School of Medicine and UICC Board Member

The ATOM Coalition Medicines Expert Advisory Group was established to identify and prioritise the essential cancer medicines that the ATOM Coalition will initially focus on. Its diverse membership include representatives from the WHO Expert Committee on Selection and Use of Essential Medicines, members from the Medicines Patent Pool Advisory Committee, as well as representatives from Access to Medicine Foundation and the American Society for Clinical Pathology.  

Chaired by Dr Dan Milner, ATOM Coalition, UICC

The Diagnostic Expert Advisory Group supports the ATOM Coalition’s diagnostic and pathology capacity strengthening efforts, offering technical recommendations on policies and strategies, as well as guidance on current and emerging diagnostic technologies that can support the improved access, affordability, availability and appropriate use of diagnostics and pathology services in ATOM Coalition target countries.  

Chaired by Amy Israel, ATOM Coalition, UICC

The Regulatory Expert Advisory Group works to optimise global-level regulatory and quality assurance processes and related standards for essential oncology medicines and diagnostics. This includes timely regulatory approval and quality assurance of prioritised essential oncology medicines and diagnostics based on methodologies developed by the WHO Prequalification programme and the WHO collaborative registration procedure.  

Too many people have their lives cut short because they cannot access quality cancer medicines as part of comprehensive care. WHO is pleased to work with UICC and partners across sectors in the ATOM Coalition to change this reality towards health for all.
Bente Mikkelsen
Dr Bente Mikkelsen, Director NCD Department, World Health Organization

Uniting for Impact

The UICC-led ATOM Coalition is proud to partner with global health-focused civil society organisations, medical societies, global oncology centres, biopharmaceutical and generic manufacturers, and associations to expand current programmes, establish new initiatives, and coordinate access opportunities across LLMICs and ATOM Coalition target countries. 

Led by

Founded in 1933 and based in Geneva, UICC has over 1150 member organisations in 172 countries and territories. The membership base includes the world’s major cancer leagues and societies, research institutes, treatment centres, hospitals, ministries of health, public health agencies and patient support groups. UICC’s mission is to both unite and support the cancer community in its efforts to reduce the global cancer burden, promote greater equity and ensure that cancer control remains a priority on the global health and development agenda. 

In collaboration with ATOM Coalition partners

Founded in 1964, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. (ASCO®) is committed to making a world of difference in cancer care. As the world’s leading organisation of its kind, ASCO represents more than 40,000 oncology professionals who care for people living with cancer. Through research, education, and promotion of the highest-quality patient care, ASCO works to conquer cancer and create a world where cancer is prevented or cured, and every survivor is healthy. ASCO is supported by its affiliate organisation, the Conquer Cancer Foundation. 

The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) is the world’s largest professional membership organisation for pathologists and laboratory professionals. In addition to their educational and certification missions around the world, they maintain a very active global health delivery program focused on laboratory strengthening in all aspects. Through their 10 year + work with PEPFAR, they have improved HIV-related testing and access in ~20 countries, trained more than 3000 individuals, and continue to deliver innovated diagnostics their partners. The Cancer Diagnostics and Treatment in Africa Initiative, created and led by ASCP, aims for 100% access to diagnostics for patients with cancer through on-site assessment, implementation planning, and, ultimately, connectivity to experts around the world through telepathology. With more than 100,000 members, the society’s influence has guided the application and evolution of the pathology and laboratory medicine specialty since 1922. ASCP is leading the way in global health pathology.

Amgen is committed to unlocking the potential of biology for patients suffering from serious illnesses by discovering, developing, manufacturing and delivering innovative human therapeutics. This approach begins by using tools like advanced human genetics to unravel the complexities of disease and understand the fundamentals of human biology. Amgen focuses on areas of high unmet medical need and leverages its biologics manufacturing expertise to strive for solutions that improve health outcomes and dramatically improve people's lives. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen has grown to be one of the world's leading independent biotechnology companies, has reached millions of patients around the world and is developing a pipeline of medicines with breakaway potential.

AstraZeneca is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of diseases in three main therapy areas - Oncology, Cardiovascular & Metabolic Diseases and Respiratory. The Company also is selectively active in the areas of autoimmunity, neuroscience and infection. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide.  

Bayer is a Life Science company with a more than 150-year history and core competencies in the areas of health care and agriculture. Its products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time, the Group aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen.

Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD) is a global medical technology company that is advancing the world of health by improving medical discovery, diagnostics and the delivery of care. BD leads in patient and healthcare worker safety and the technologies that enable medical research and clinical laboratories. The company provides innovative solutions that help advance medical research and genomics, enhance the diagnosis of infectious disease and cancer, improve medication management, promote infection prevention, equip surgical and interventional procedures and support the management of diabetes.

BeiGene is a global, science-driven biotechnology company focused on developing innovative and affordable medicines to improve treatment outcomes and access for patients worldwide. With a broad portfolio of more than 40 clinical candidates, BeiGene is expediting development of our diverse pipeline of novel therapeutics through our own capabilities and collaborations. We are committed to radically improving access to medicines for two billion more people by 2030.

Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global BioPharma company firmly focused on its mission to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines to patients with serious diseases.

Hologic, Inc. is a global medical technology innovator primarily focused on improving women’s health and well-being through early detection and treatment. Its advancements include leadership in providing diagnostic solutions for cervical cancer screening, sexually transmitted infections, respiratory illnesses, and the virus that causes COVID-19; invention of the world’s first commercial 3D mammography system to fight breast cancer; and minimally invasive surgical technologies for uterine fibroids and abnormal uterine bleeding. The company champions women through the Hologic Global Women’s Health Index, which provides a science-backed data roadmap for improving women’s well-being, and Project Health Equality, which elevates awareness, research insights and access to quality care for underserved women.

For more than a century, MSD, a leading global biopharmaceutical company, has been inventing for life, bring forward medicines and vaccines for the world’s most challenging diseases.  MSD is a trade name of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA. Through their prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, and animal health products, they work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. MSD also demonstrates their commitment to increasing access to healthcare through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. Today, MSD continues to be at the forefront of research to advance the prevention and treatment of diseases that threaten people and communities around the world - including cancer, cardio-metabolic diseases, emerging animal diseases, Alzheimer’s disease and infectious diseases including HIV and Ebola.

Novartis Oncology is a global leader in transforming outcomes for people with cancer. We offer a wide range of innovative therapies to help meet patient needs and have one of the strongest, most productive pipelines in the industry. Our research is driven by a distinctive scientific and clinical strategy focused on precision oncology – understanding how cancer develops on a genomic level and developing drugs that hone in on those targets.

At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to bring therapies to people that extend and significantly improve their lives through the discovery, development and manufacture of healthcare products. Our global portfolio includes medicines and vaccines, as well as many of the world’s best-known consumer healthcare products. We work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. We collaborate with healthcare providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable healthcare around the world.

Roche is the world’s largest biotech company, with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, ophthalmology and diseases of the central nervous system. Roche is also the world leader in in vitro diagnostics and tissue-based cancer diagnostics, and a frontrunner in diabetes management.

Founded in 1896, Roche continues to search for better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat diseases and make a sustainable contribution to society. The company also aims for improving patient access to medical innovations by working with all relevant stakeholders. Twenty-nine medicines developed by Roche are included in the World Health Organization Model Lists of Essential Medicines, among them life-saving antibiotics, antimalarials and cancer medicines.

The Roche Group, headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, is active in over 100 countries and in 2016 employed more than 94,000 people worldwide.

Sanofi is a global life sciences company committed to improving access to healthcare and supporting the people we serve throughout the continuum of care. From prevention to treatment, Sanofi transforms scientific innovation into healthcare solutions, in human vaccines, rare diseases, multiple sclerosis, oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, diabetes and cardiovascular solutions and consumer healthcare. More than 110,000 people at Sanofi are dedicated to make a difference on patients’ daily life, wherever they live and enable them to enjoy a healthier life.

Sylvester comprehensive cancer center supports research and outreach in the cancer prevention, early detection, and survivorship. Such efforts primarily target culturally-diverse communities throughout South Florida, including those characterized by health disparity and lack of access to the formal healthcare system. Much of our work is grounded in the principles of stakeholder engagement, where patients, religious leaders, and community activists work collaboratively with our scientists and clinicians to ensure that our cancer control initiatives match community need.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE and TASE: TEVA) is a leading global pharmaceutical company that delivers high-quality, patient-centric healthcare solutions used by approximately 200 million patients in 100 markets every day. Headquartered in Israel, Teva is the world’s largest generic medicines producer, leveraging its portfolio of more than 1,800 molecules to produce a wide range of generic products in nearly every therapeutic area. In specialty medicines, Teva has the world-leading innovative treatment for multiple sclerosis as well as late-stage development programs for other disorders of the central nervous system, including movement disorders, migraine, pain and neurodegenerative conditions, as well as a broad portfolio of respiratory products. Teva is leveraging its generics and specialty capabilities in order to seek new ways of addressing unmet patient needs by combining drug development with devices, services and technologies. Teva's net revenues in 2016 were $21.9 billion.

Supported by ATOM Coalition official observers

Access matters: ATOM Coalition partners talk about the importance of getting cancer medicines where they’re needed, when they’re needed and to the people who need them.

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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