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Ladies and Gentlemen,

It has been 50 years since US President Richard Nixon declared war on cancer in 1971, launching a program of massive investment into research, development and patient care. Half a century later, hundreds of billions of dollars have been poured in and yet, despite the efforts of thousands of researchers and hundreds of teams all over the world, the war on cancer is far from over. SOTIO, a PPF Group company, has been focusing on research and development of new methods of treatment to battle cancer for more than 10 years. In that time, SOTIO has brought some of these treatments as far as Phase III clinical trials, working with prestigious medical centers and experts around the world. PPF and SOTIO were the motor behind the drive for the Czech Republic to join the Index of Cancer Preparedness, a rating under the extensive Global Cancer Initiative program as part of their analytical work centering on global activities in biotechnology. Another reason for joining the Index was PPF Group’s sustained endeavor to create and share expertise that rivals the world’s best in all areas of operation, to foster inspiration and knowledge, and to be involved in the expert debate. Simply put, we want to aid developments that help the Czech Republic progress.

The Index of Cancer Preparedness dovetails with all the aforesaid. Using 45 precisely defined parameters, it has helped objectivize the current status of care for cancer patients in Czechia, shown the areas in which we excel on an international scale as well as those in which there is room for improvement and opportunities to take further important steps forward. It is also a font from which to draw inspiration from international practice even though it may not always be fully transferable due to local specificities.

The Czech Republic came eighth in a comprehensive rating of 29 countries around the globe. I am an optimist and our country’s excellent position did not surprise me when it comes to areas such as access to care, the network of healthcare facilities and the level of qualification of healthcare professionals. As the Index confirmed, all of that is above par in Czechia. Given my knowledge of the field, I was not surprised either by certain shortcomings revealed with regard to regulation and strategies. Oncology care is currently developing at a blazing pace. Leading Czech facilities take part in multiple clinical trials and more and more innovative treatment methods are being approved. Success in fighting cancer requires primarily a concept for ensuring that patients have early access to specialized physicians and modern treatments. Along with good quality screening programs allowing for early detection of disease, this may be the path towards improving not only the Czech Republic’s rating on the chart but also, more importantly, the outlook for tens of thousands of Czech patients battling with this treacherous disease.

The full results of the Index, which are available at, will also form the basis for an expert debate planned for the end of 2021 between representatives of the public and the professional and academic sectors, with participants from around the world.

Radek Špíšek