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Evaluation of the Regulation on Tiered Pricing of Medicines

Supplying poor and developing countries with medicines at sustainable, reduced prices is one of the most important tools in the fight against major diseases, especially the “Big Three”, namely HIV, TB and malaria. After more than a decade since the Council Regulation (EC) 953/2003 came into force, to avoid trade diversion into the European Union of certain key medicines, stakeholders came together to discuss the overall impact of the Regulation at a workshop on 15 July 2015, (...)

New German law promotes prevention and health promotion - will it deliver?

In June 2015, Germany passed new legislation on disease prevention and health promotion which is unique in the sense that it will create a broad coalition of national health actors on prevention. The latter is not only supposed to create long-term economic benefits for the health system (’return on prevention’) but will bring concrete benefits to a wide range of individuals. Crucially, the new prevention law (Praeventionsgesetz) will allow individuals to get reimbursed through (...)

Childhood vaccination: Neglected tool to counter measles outbreaks?

Over 22,000 people were infected with measles across the EU in 2014 and 2015, including one measles-related death. The only effective preventive measure against measles remains vaccination. The recent outbreaks suggest a growing number of susceptible people are not being vaccinated. The reasons for this are varied, including a growing number of parents who are reluctant to vaccinate their children and increasing barriers of access to vaccination. To avoid further such outbreaks, it is thus (...)

AMR’s multiple dimensions call for action on all fronts

The June Uppsala Health Summit (UHS), ‘A World Without Antibiotics’ expanded the discussion about antimicrobial resistance (AMR) at European and national level by examining this critical health threat from different angles. Among the key themes discussed were access to antibiotics and to improved diagnostics, the environmental dimension of AMR, collaborative research & innovation, and economic models allowing pharma companies to balance profits and investments for the public (...)

Correcting health workforce imbalances: What coordinating role for the EU?

Co-organised by the Health Workers for All (HW4All) project, the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) and EPHA, a policy debate took place on 5 May 2015 which discussed how the ethical recruitment principles of the WHO Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel could best be implemented. It focused on the European context where professional mobility is encouraged in the Internal Market yet posing increasing challenges for the health systems (...)

General Data Protection Regulation - how to reconcile ethical and business concerns?

An event organised by the CEPS on 13 May 2015 provided an update of the status quo of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and presented issues under discussion during the Trilogue negotiations. Although the principal focus lay on stimulating dialogue between regulators and SMEs/start-ups, the debate also touched upon some health-related issues such as the development of eHealth as part of the Digital Single Market, and it brought up ethical questions related to the potential uses (...)

European Agenda on Migration commits to saving lives but not to improving reception

The European Commission released its long-awaited Communication on a European Agenda on Migration on 13 May, thereby delivering one of President Juncker’s political priorities. While the likelihood of saving more migrants’ lives will be increased through increased funding for Frontex operations and a more coordinated effort to managing migration more fairly across Europe is welcome, the problem remains that reception conditions in EU countries are insufficient. Funding is (...)

WHA adopts resolutions on AMR and immunization

On 25 May 2015, the 68th World Health Assembly (WHA) - the supreme decision-making body of WHO which convenes annually in Geneva - agreed resolutions to tackle antimicrobial resistance and improve access to affordable vaccines. Tackling antimicrobial drug resistance The global importance and seriousness of AMR was highlighted by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who told delegates on the opening day that addressing AMR is one of the highest health priorities for the world. Following a (...)

Op-ed articles highlight recruitment practices across Europe

In the run-up to the event, ’Mobility of Health Professionals in the EU: Ethical Recruitment and Policy Coherence’, Health Workers for All (HW4All) released a compilation of case studies that highlight good practices related to achieving a more equitable distribution of health workers across Europe, while highlighting the importance of respecting internationally mobile health workers’ rights. To complement the case studies, and prior to the 5 May event on the (...)

[Press Release] New EU Migration Agenda falls short on health

Brussels, 18 May 2015 – - The European Commission released its European Agenda on Migration (1) on Wednesday 13 May. EPHA welcomes that action is finally being stepped up and more funding being made available, but warns that health requires further support. Health concerns – of migrants and of receiving countries’ populations - are notably absent in the agenda, which merely mentions the need to support ‘reception and capacity to provide healthcare to migrants in the (...)