Global Access Program - Cervical Cancer

Making high-risk HPV screening available to women in greatest need

Roche is committed to eradicating cervical cancer globally

by increasing screening accuracy, efficiency and access for all women.

Cervical cancer is preventable and elimination is within reach if countries take action now.


Nearly all cases of cervical cancer are caused by high-risk HPV (Human Papillomavirus), a common viral infection transmitted through sexual, skin-to-skin contact. Screening women for high-risk HPV can identify those women who are at risk, before cancer develops, when the disease is easier to treat.
Almost all women will have HPV at some point in their life, and most women’s immune systems will clear the virus without intervention. However, for some women the infection persists and over time can progress into cervical pre-cancer or cancer.

There is a global call for action to meet proposed cervical cancer prevention goals by 2030.1

90-70-90 Image

WHO Global Strategy Formalized

In August 2020, the Member States of the World Health Organization (WHO) formalized the decision to adopt the WHO global strategy establishing goals and targets for 2020 to 2030, calling for an acceleration of the elimination of cervical cancer as a public health problem.2
The strategy focuses on 3 key pillars with 90-70-90 targets:
  • prevention through HPV vaccination;
  • screening and treatment of pre-cancerous lesions;
  • management of invasive cervical cancer, including access to palliative care. 
Countries are expected to reach (and maintain) an incidence below 4 per 100 000 women, gaining reductions in incidence and in mortality.  Based on this plan, by 2030, the median cervical cancer incidence rate would fall by 10%, helping avert 70 million cases in the century.

Addressing unmet global need

Cervical cancer is a preventable disease, but is one of the most common cancers in women.
Cervical cancer is one of the greatest threats to women's health. Every minute, one woman is diagnosed with cervical cancer.  In 2018, more than 300,000 women died of cervical cancer. We can do more to address this problem.

Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, cervical cancer, all ages

Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018

Majority of disease burden is in Low & Middle Income Countries (LMIC)

"Nine out of 10 women who die from cervical cancer live in low- and middle-income countries."3

"The likelihood that a woman living with HIV will develop invasive cervical cancer is up to five times higher than for a woman who is not living with HIV."4

Some of the most vulnerable women in our world are dying unnecessarily. In poorer countries, women are often diagnosed with cervical cancer at a more advanced stage, where the opportunity for a cure is low. This is compounded by a lack of access to life-saving treatment in settings where the burden and need are highest.

"Every country must introduce and scale-up HPV screening for women between 30 and 49 years old, and ensure appropriate treatment and follow-up."5


Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, 24 September 2018

"Elimination of cervical cancer as a global health issue is within reach for all countries. We know what works, and we know how to prevent and control this disease."6

Dr Princess Nono Simelela, Assistant Director-General for Family, Women,
Children and Adolescents, WHO

Prevention opportunity Flowchart
Roche is currently working with the World Health Organization to obtain Prequalification (PQ) Diagnostics Status for our HPV assays on the cobas® 4800 and cobas® 6800/8800 Systems for use in resource limited settings. Both of the cobas® HPV assays have been granted the Abridged Assessment Review Path by the WHO.
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  1. Accessed 13 August 2020.
  2. 73rd World Health Assembly Decisions, 7 August 2020 Accessed 13 August 2020.
  3. "It’s time to make cervical cancer history 04 FEBRUARY 2019" Accessed 13 August 2020.
  4. UNAIDS website published on 31 May 2019 ( Accessed 13 August 2020.
  5. A world free of cervical cancer Accessed 13 August 2020.
    Dr Princess Nono Simelela, Assistant Director-General for Family, Women’s and Children’s Health at WHO Accessed 13 August 2020.
  7. Accessed 13 August 2020.