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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, (...)

What future role for health literacy in Europe?

Public health is not just about human diseases, healthcare services or cross-border pandemics. Most of all, health is about people. Giving wider attention to the individual also fits perfectly with the European 2020 vision of ’smart, inclusive and sustainable’ growth for a healthier EU, as highlighted at a recent meeting on ’health literacy in Europe’ organised by STOA - European Parliament Science and Technology Options Assessment - on 1 July 2015. People are used (...)

’Freedom of no choice’? Discussing the availability of CAM products in Europe

The most recent meeting of the MEP Interest Group on Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) took place on 1 July 2015 at the European Parliament. Hosted by MEP Sirpa Pietikaeinen (EPP, Finland), it focused on the gap in availability of CAM products and treatments in many EU Member States. To kick off the meeting, MEP Sirpa Pietikaeinen recalled that a large number of people in Europe - currently estimated to be about 50% of the population - have already used CAM products, which (...)

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 (...)

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 (...)

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 (...)

20th EAHP congress focuses on patient safety & changing roles of hospital pharmacists

The 20th congress of EPHA member the European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP) took place in Hamburg on 25-27 March 2015. This year’s focus was ’patient safety first’, and various sessions explored how hospital pharmacists can contribute to the patient journey, for example by ensuring medication reconciliation and safety and by providing expert advice on treatments and medicines. EPHA President Peggy Maguire - also Director General of the European Institute of (...)