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[EU-US trade agreement] Investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) consultation: A missed opportunity?

On 27 March, the European Commission (EC) launched a public consultation on the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) chapter within the context of the Transatlantic (ie EU-US) Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Weeks earlier, the EU Trade Commissioner put a halt to the negotiations over the ISDS due to mounting criticism from civil society groups and the European Parliament (EP). 07 April 2014 - This consultation has been presented by the EC as a solution to increase transparency (...)

[EPHA answer] Public consultation on patient safety and quality of care

In December 2013, the European Commission launched a public consultation on patient safety and quality of care in the EU, which ran until the end of February 2014. As Europe’s leading NGO advocating for better health, EPHA contributed to this consultation and provided the Commission with the online questionnaire and a letter. The consultation was aimed at seeking the opinion of civil society on: Whether patient safety measures included in the Recommendation 2009 have been (...)

European Commission report reveals unmet flu vaccination targets

A new European Commisssion report published in January 2014 uncovers that most EU countries are falling short of flu vaccination targets. Of 18 Member States that provided data on seasonal influenza vaccination, only one managed to reach the target for the older age priority group; moreover, data was scarce for other priority groups. A number of barriers identified in the report indicate the need for further reflection and discussion of seasonal flu vaccination involving all stakeholders (...)

[6th European Antibiotic Awareness Day] Summary: European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control’s event

On 15 November, the 2013 European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD) was once again put in the spotlight in Brussels by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and partners through a dedicated conference and social media event, highlighting its key messages on prudent antibiotic use. At the same time, worrying new developments in the areas of antibiotics consumption and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) were brought into light to emphasise the urgent need for more (...)

[EPHA Briefing] Mobile Health (mHealth)

Prior to the publication of the European Commission’s Green Paper on mobile Health (mHealth) later this year, EPHA is releasing a briefing paper that highlights some of the principal issues related to the debate. Mobile health – also known as mHealth – can be understood as the use of mobile and wireless devices to improve health outcomes, healthcare services and health research. It is a component of the larger discipline of eHealth, which in turn can be defined as the (...)

Two new influenza publications & Save the Date 5th Influenza Conference

The European Scientific Working Group on Influenza (ESWI) has released two new publications which will be of interest for readers with an interest in health systems, in particular health threats and pandemic preparedness. The FluQuest report is an account of the ESWI workshop held on 3 May where the outcomes of the ESWI survey on pandemic preparedness in Europe were shared and placed into context. The second document is the report of the ESWI Flu Summit that was held on the previous day (...)

[EPT] Clinical Trials – new Regulation - Proposal for the Clinical Trials Regulation (CTD) - (updated on 30 April 2013)

Clinical trials Clinical trials are “Investigations in humans intended to discover or verify the effects of one or more investigational medicinal products (IMPs)”. Trials conducted in the European Union (EU) are currently governed by Directive 2001/20/EC (the Clinical Trials Directive, CTD) but these guidelines have been implemented differently across member states, thereby failing to reduce red tape and increasing costs. Consequently, in July 2012, the Commission published its (...)

European Immunization Week 2013: Prevent - Protect - Immunize

As the European Immunization Week unfolds (22-27 April 2013), it is worth to re-emphasise immunization as a cost-effective public health preventive measure. It is particularly true in times of economic crisis and public spending cuts affecting essential health services needed to prevent the re-emergence of communicable diseases in Europe (and elsewhere). On an annual basis, for one week in April, all countries across the European Region unite under the European Immunization Week’s (...)

[EPT] Medical devices - Regulation (recast) - Medical devices and in vitro diagnostic medical devices (17 April 2013)

Medical devices and in vitro diagnostic medical devices. The term “medical device” covers an extremely diverse range of healthcare instruments – from simple bandages and dressings to tongue depressors, medical thermometers and blood sugar meters to pacemakers and life-supporting products, as well as eHealth devices which communicate remotely. The medical devices industry constitutes a key sector for healthcare. It is one of the most dynamic sectors, improving and saving (...)

New evidence on access to healthcare: austerity marginalises Europe’s weakest

On 9 April 2013, EPHA member Medecins du Monde European office (MdM) launched a new report that documents the effects of the economic crisis and rising xenophobia on undocumented migrants and other vulnerable groups at risk of exclusion from healthcare systems. Results show that the consequences of austerity measures are particularly strong in Southern Europe where many undocumented migrants are living in an administrative limbo. They are being joined by increasing numbers of European (...)