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  • Time for treaty changes and a joined-up approach on EU health

    Whether or not you agree with German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s on-the-record assertion that multi-culturalism “has failed, utterly failed,” there have certainly been mixed reactions across EU member states regarding the intake of refugees.

    A couple of weeks ago European Union ministers approved a plan to split the burden of relocating up to 120,000 migrants awaiting placement from Greece and Italy, with each member state taking in numbers based on its economic strength, population, unemployment and the asylum applications it has passed since 2010.

  • ‘EU patients need equal access to the best treatments’, high-level forum hears

    The Brussels-based European Alliance for Personalised Medicine (EAPM) is playing a key role at this week’s European Health Forum Gastein, calling for more EU co-ordination, collaboration, innovation, patient empowerment and equal access.

    With an aging population of 500 million potential patients across 28 member states, health care is a growing burden on the European Union’s health services.

    At Bad Gastein, the EU’s health policy community gathers once each year in the green Gastein valley in Austria to tackle issues in the health arena and EAPM has organised several sessions at the 2015 event, which concludes tomorrow (Friday 2 October).

  • It’s time for an EU-led ‘Joint Action’ on health data

    One of the largest ever planned collections and storage of personal data is currently underway in the United States of America. Back in January, US President Barack Obama launched his Precision Medicine Initiative, or PMI, in his State of the Union Address, stating that the idea was to “bring us closer to curing diseases like cancer and diabetes, and to give all of us access to the personalised information we need to keep ourselves and our families healthier”.

    PMI will have as its foundation a precision medicine database that aims, initially, to hold records of one million human subjects.

  • Europe must act to keep pace with Obama initiative

    Earlier this year, US President Barack Obama launched his Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI) – essentially what we tend to call ‘personalised medicine’ in Europe. In his State of the Union Address on 20 January, Obama stated that the idea was to “bring us closer to curing diseases like cancer and diabetes, and to give all of us access to the personalised information we need to keep ourselves and our families healthier.”  Personalised medicine is a fast-moving field that sees treatments and drugs tailored to a patient’s genes, as well as his or her environment and lifestyle. It relies on DNA sequencing and other new technologies and aims to give the right treatment to the right patient at the right time. It can also work in a preventative sense.

    Up to now, doctors have tended to prescribe medicines and treatments by population. If a treatment works for the biggest percentage of patients, most will default to that. However, it is clear that we are all different and one-size-fits-all approaches no longer work in modern-day health care.

  • Modernizing clinical trials for the benefit of Europe’s patients

    On 25 September at the ESMO-ECCO congress in Vienna, the European Alliance for Personalised Medicine will hold a second annual event on clinical trials to build on the work from last year, and its high-level meetings held in between.

    The meeting in Austria will seek to priortize several issues, and possible solutions, identified by EAPM and its partners and reach consensus on key policy asks that the oncology community should focus on for the next two years.

  • Male life expectancy and the battle against prostate cancer

    In the week that has seen the European Union mark three decades of action against cancer with a ceremony and high-level meeting in Luxembourg, a Prostate Cancer Awareness Day was held in the European Parliament, Brussels today (16 September).

    The EU event represented the 30th anniversary of the Council conclusions of 1985, which paved the way for the first action at European level on cancer, and Lydia Mutsch, Luxembourg’s Minister for Health, alongside Vytenis Andriukaitis, the Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, opened the landmark meeting.

  • White Paper launched to step up fight against pancreatic cancer

    This week (15 September) sees the European Union mark three decades of action against cancer with a ceremony and high-level meeting in Luxembourg, which currently holds the rotating EU presidency. The event will represent the 30th anniversary of the Council conclusions of 1985, which paved the way for the first action at European level on cancer, and Luxembourg’s Health Minister Lydia Mutsch, alongside Health and Food Safety Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis will open the landmark meeting.

    On the same day, the Brussels-based European Alliance for Personalised Medicine (EAPM) will launch a White Paper, in Aegina, Greece, as part of the ‘EUPancreas COST Action for an integrated European platform for pancreas cancer research’.

  • 30 years and counting: Where next in EU’s battle against cancer?

    Next Tuesday (15 September) will see the European Commission and the Luxembourg Presidency of the EU mark three decades of action against cancer with a ceremony and high-level meeting in the member state’s capital.

    The event will represent the 30th anniversary of the Council conclusions of 1985, which paved the way for the first action at European level on cancer.

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