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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, (...)
03/08/2015

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 (...)
03/08/2015

’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 (...)
03/08/2015

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 (...)
03/08/2015

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

EU Migration Agenda - ’Right step in right direction’ or stumbling block for universal access to healthcare?


A CEPS lunchtime seminar held at the University of Maastricht’s Brussels campus shed light, from different angles, on the recently released European Agenda on Migration by critically examining some of its features, including the Commission’s plan to distribute asylum seekers across the EU Member States, the use of military power to combat people smugglers, and managing different types of migration. Overall, the Agenda’s narrow take on migration complicates achieving the (...)
02/07/2015

[Open Letter] to the EU Ministers of Health


In a joint letter ahead of the 19 June EPSCO Council debate on migrant health, EPHA, Medecins du Monde (link) and PICUM (link), addressed the Council to ask for action and policy commitment to universal access to healthcare and its paramount importance in addressing health inequalities. The letter, signed by a group of umbrella networks and grassroots organisations from across the EU, drew attention to the fact that improvements in access to healthcare for asylum seekers, undocumented (...)
22/06/2015

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 (...)
31/05/2015

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 (...)
31/05/2015

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