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Evaluating healthcare expenditures : first results of the AHEAD Project

The first results of a three-year project aimed to evaluate the links between reported healthcare expenditures and the use of medical services were presented by the European Network of Economic Policy Research Institutes (ENEPRI) and the Center for European Policy Studies (CEPS). Entitled AHEAD (Ageing, Health Status and Determinants of Health Expenditure), the project’s main objectives are: to assess factors that trigger health spending in the EU, with a particular focus on (...)

Consumers need a more complete and accessible nutritional information

The European Consumers’ Organisation (BEUC) conducted a survey on European consumers’ perception of foodstuffs labelling, revealing the effectiveness of nutritional claims in attracting consumers’ attention and influencing their purchase. BEUC’s study attempts to evaluate the different factors that influence a consumer when buying foodstuff. The interest in nutrition, the sources of information, the nutritional knowledge, understanding and perception and (...)

FP7 : MEPs targeted to increase funding for rheumatism

Sponsored by the Member of the Europea Parliament (MEP) Ursula Stenzel (EPP- AU), EULAR - the European League Against Rheumatism - organised a conference in the European Parliament. They asked MEPs to consider rheumatism as a major disease in the future FP7, which will allow rheumatic disease to benefit from a special budget line. After a video message from the Commissioner for Research, Janez Potocnik, 8 speakers (including 2 speakers from pharmaceutical companies) repeated the need to (...)
Also about: Chronic Diseases

European Parliament backs directive to increase R&D on pediatric medicines

This article has been updated with the Council’s position and the second reading from the European Parliament. The European Parliament voted on 7 September in favour of a European Commission Directive to guarantee that medicines administered to children are actually suitable for them. An overwhelming majority of MEPs supported this way the stimulation of research into development of paediatric medicines in Europe. The Parliament’s decision will now go to the Council, where the (...)

Commission report on the challenges of biometrics

The Commission has published the report ’Biometrics at the Frontiers: Assessing the Impact on Society’. The study assesses how biometric technologies, like fingerprinting and iris and face recognition, will impact on our daily lives. The report is published in the context of the new EU requirement for biometric passports, visas and residence permits from 2006. Biometrics are often thought of only in terms of security and border controls, but the report makes the claim that (...)

MEPs raise concerns about sale of human eggs for fertility treatment

A group of MEPs, including Mrs Hiltrud Breyer MEP (Greens/EFA - DE), Mr Peter Liese MEP (EPP/ED - DE), Mr Adamos Adamou MEP (GUE/NGL - CY) and Ms Maria Martens MEP (EPP/ED - NL), have raised concerns about media reports of a trade of human egg cells from Romania to clinics in the UK. In many European countries there are shortages of donated eggs and long waiting lists for fertility treatment. The news report that young Romanian women are being paid to donate their eggs led the UK (...)

Bioethics at stake in the new FP7

The European Commission encounters a sound opposition from the European Parliament to introducing European funding for research on human embryo and embryonic stem cells in the next 7th Research Framework Programme (FP7). On the 20 September 2005, a group of 73 MEPs have signed a letter to the European Commission President, Manuel Barroso, calling the Commission to respect the principle of subsidiarity in the matter: Member States should decide if they want to fund research on the human (...)
Also about: Biotechnology

New tool for scientific input into policy-making

The Commission has launched a new e-Network designed to make scientific advice more available to policy-makers at the EU and national level called SINAPSE (Scientific Information for Policy Support in Europe). The new web-platform is to promote and encourage exchange of information between policy-makers and the scientific community. It will aim to be: A library of scientific opinion and advice A tool for the Commission to consult the scientific community An early-warning system A (...)
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Health Action International on European medicines’ policy

Health Action International-Europe (HAI), an EPHA member, has recently published three new position papers on key issues affecting European medicines’ policy. "Running on empty: Medicines’ production and the absence of innovation" lays out HAI’s view that the pharmaceutical industry does not and will not produce medicines geared to public need - i.e. geared to priority conditions, at affordable prices and of genuine therapeutic advance. It concludes by urging (...)

Petition to WHO on research and development of medicines

On 24 February 2005, 162 non-governmental organisations, academics and politicians issued an open letter urging the World Health Organisation to evaluate the draft Medical Research and Development Treaty that has been drawn up over the past two years by a group of economists, scientists and public health experts Existing trade agreements designed to bolster medical R&D investments focus nearly exclusively on stronger intellectual property rights and higher drug prices. This approach (...)