August is notoriously a quiet month in Brussels, but there were nevertheless several highlights that grabbed our attention.
Here's our top five:
1) Clinical trials data transparency - forging the way forward
When it comes to clinical trials, what information is shared - and to whom - is now the subject of much debate in Brussels and beyond. In July, EFPIA and PhRMA jointly published a set of principles on responsible data sharing (check out EFPIA's neat video on the same topic).
Responsible data sharing is, for us, about striking a balance: on one hand, it means making data a collective resource and advancing medical science further and faster than ever before. On the other, it means safeguarding patient confidentiality and ensuring we can continue to invest in the development of new innovative medicines through the protection of commercially confidential information. Ultimately, it is about securing the best outcome for patients now and future generations.
On August 27 a range of stakeholders from academia, industry, the regulatory sphere and politics gathered to talk through their priorities and points of view. You can read our blog on the event here.
2) Greece planning ahead or January 2014 Presidency.
We appreciate it probably seems as though Lithuania has only just started its leading role at the Council of the European Union, yet in August Greece published its very preliminary priorities for its Presidency that begins in January 2014. It's great to see Greece getting prepared so early on this, and we look forward to seeing what their health-specific targets will be later on in the year.
At this moment in time there already appear to be some natural health and pharmaceutical industry links to its outline ambitions on 'Growth - Jobs - Cohesion'. Did you know that the pharmaceutical industry employs around 660,000 people in Europe? Check out this link for further facts and stats on the economic and social contributions made by the industry.
Also, check out this EFPIA blog on health and growth, which argues that Governments and international institutions should start to incorporate healthcare more explicitly into their strategies to support economic growth. Certainly food for thought on the Greek menu.
3) Our work against the counterfeiters never stops!
Throughout August we continued our efforts to combat the counterfeiters: those peddling harmful fake medicines, which represent a serious risk to public health. Check out what we got up to here in our post of last month.
4) G8 to tackle dementia
Alzheimer's is a blight on the health map of Europe and beyond. That is why we were delighted to see the UK Government announce in August that it will be hosting on 11th December the first G8 summit dedicated to seeking international coordination and response to tackling the condition.
As we have mentioned in previous blogs posts, a few years ago it was estimated 36 million people worldwide were living with dementia - nearly two thirds of them in developing countries. This figure is set to increase to more than 115 million people by 2050.
Not only does Alzheimer's affect sufferers and carers - it impacts us all. As populations in Europe are increasingly ageing, the prevalence of age-related disorders such as Alzheimer's are set to increase too, putting a strain on already stretched healthcare systems; and that's worrying news.
We very much support all efforts to raise the awareness of dementia and find sustainable solutions to tackling the condition.
5) Celebrating 6 months of our LillyPadEU blog and 500 followers on Twitter @LillyPadEU
In August we celebrated 6 months of LillyPadEU and the milestone of achieving 500 followers of our Twitter account @LillyPadEU.
As one of the world's leading innovative pharmaceutical companies, Lilly supports policies that enhance our ability to invest in innovation. Providing people and policy-makers with our point of view, as well as explanations of complex EU regulation and policy developments, is crucial to ensuring continued innovation. In turn, it helps contribute to the future health and wellbeing of citizens.
As readers to our blog and @LillyPadEU followers know, our social media activity delivers a fact-based platform on the pharma industry and Lilly's support of policies allowing the company to continue helping people live longer and healthier lives.
We look forward to continuing providing regular commentary on the raft of EU regulation and policy developments relating to our industry, including on important areas such as clinical trials, pharmaceutical pricing and reimbursement, and protecting the public from harmful counterfeit medicines.