Consensus Statement: Importance of Timely Access to Multiple Myeloma Diagnosis and Treatment in Central America and the Caribbean

Mayra Pimentel, Ondina Espinal, Francisco Godinez, Fabian Jimenez, Darwin Martinez, Ninotchka Mendoza, Anarellys Quintana, Juan Enrique Richmond, Esmedalys Romero

Abstract


Background: In Central America and the Caribbean, multiple myeloma (MM) patients face significant barriers to diagnosis and treatment. The aim of this study is to describe the current situation of MM in the region, discuss the current barriers to timely diagnosis and proper treatment, and develop consensus recommendations to address these issues.

Methods: Nine experts from five countries took part in a virtual consensus meeting on MM in Central America and the Caribbean. During the meeting, experts analyzed the disease burden, the current conditions for disease management, and access to treatment in the region. The participants reached a consensus on the extent of the problem and the necessary measures.

Results: Hard evidence on the incidence and prevalence of MM in the region is scarce, but the experts perceive an increase in MM cases. The lack of data on the direct and indirect costs at the local and regional levels obscures the impact of the disease and limits awareness among decision-makers. Most patients are diagnosed late and face long waiting times and geographical barriers to access treatment. Access to efficacious innovative therapies that increase survival time is limited due to access barriers within health systems.

Conclusions: There was consensus on five recommendations: 1) to generate evidence; 2) to educate the public; 3) to increase timely diagnosis and facilitate access to treatment; 4) to promote interaction, collaboration, and participation among all sectors involved in the decision-making process; and 5) to guarantee timely access to new therapies.




J Hematol. 2022;11(1):1-7
doi: https://doi.org/10.14740/jh971

Keywords


Lymphocytes; Myelodysplastic syndromes; Multiple myeloma; Cytogenetics and molecular genetics; Stem cell transplantation

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