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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 (...)
02/07/2015

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 (...)
02/07/2015

New report exposes link between global pharmaceutical production and anti-microbial resistance


A new report released on 11 June 2015 by global consumer watchdog SumOfUs.org provides a new angle to the debate about the major health threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR): the improper disposal of pharmaceutical waste by polluting factories in China, and their links with some of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies. The report raises the urgent need for antibiotic stewardship to avoid a looming public health disaster. According to the report, polluting factories in (...)
19/06/2015

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 (...)
31/05/2015

Joint Procurement of medical countermeasures: A Solidarity Tool?


On 29 April 2015, Public Health England organised a workshop for the European Commission in Luxembourg on the joint procurement of medical countermeasures, which featured a host of speakers from different Commission Directorate Generals, EMA, ECDC, WHO, and industry. One of the key messages was that the new Joint Procurement Agreement (JPA) tool is potentially available for many different countermeasures as long as they fall into the legal framework of serious cross-border health threats. (...)
29/04/2015

Health Ministers’ Conclusions address patient safety and antimicrobial resistance


In recent years, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has been identified as a major health threat. The 2014 European Antibiotic Awareness Day drew attention to the consequences arising from the overuse and misuse of antibiotics, for instance through self-medication. The emergence of multi-drug resistant ’superbugs’ as a result is a serious threat to health throughout Europe. European Health Ministers recently issued Council conclusions which expand the EU level discourse about (...)
18/12/2014

Council conclusions on vaccinations as an effective tool in public health


On 1 December 2014, the Council of Health Ministers released its conclusions regarding vaccinations as an effective tool in public health. They invite national governments and the European Commission (EC) to increase information exchanges with the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to focus on risk groups, and convey informed and clear messages on vaccination. The EPSCO conclusions adopted under the Italian Presidency - which (...)
17/12/2014

[Evaluation] European Parliament hearing - Elzbieta Bienkowska European Commissioner-designate for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs


“Placing pharma policy in DG Enterprise was justified. It has traditionally been in DG Enterprise, but was moved to DG Sanco and has once again been instated as an Enterprise competence” said during her hearing Commissioner-designate Elzbieta Bienkowska. By Dorota Sienkiewicz,Health Equity and Policy Coherence Coordinator, and Martyna Giedrojć, EPHA Policy Officer for Health Systems The pharmaceutical industry is the biggest sector in the world. In terms of production, (...)
03/10/2014

[Open letter] To Heads of State and Government of the European Union Member States on Pharmaceutical Policy in the Public Interest


Brussels, 2 October 2014 - We are writing to support Member States who have already expressed their concerns on the decision of European Commission President Elect Jean-Claude Juncker to move the competence for medicinal products and health technologies from the Commissioner in charge of Health to the Commissioner in charge of Internal Market and Industry within the new Commission. We would like to ask for your full support to have that decision reversed. Dear Head of States, Dear Prime (...)
02/10/2014

Elżbieta Bieńkowska » European Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs


Elżbieta Bieńkowska (born on 4 February 1964 in Katowice, Poland) became the Minister of Regional Development in the Cabinet of the Prime Minister Donald Tusk between 2007 and 2013 in Poland. She was then appointed a Deputy Prime Minister and carried out her mandate at the Ministry of Infrastructure and Development. In 2014 she has been nominated by the Polish government for European Commissioner who has received the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs portfolio (...)
01/10/2014