The bell has rung, the Commission has shared the syllabus and the European Semester is back to school. At the forefront for discussion amongst all fellow Brussels classmates in health is how to ensure the sustainability of health systems in the EU. As part of our back-to-school assignment, LillyPadEU will be commenting on many of the key EU health-related events and debates set to take place in Brussels from now until Christmas. Here’s just a snapshot of what we have on our schedule.
The set pieces that will concentrate the minds are of course the informal meeting of EU Health Ministers on 24 and 25 September in Luxembourg, where Ministers will discuss caring for people living with dementia– singled out as a G7 priority; the healthcare recommendations of the European Semester and the implementation of the Cross-border Healthcare Directive.
The other set piece is the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council on 7 and 8 December, where EU Ministers are set to adopt conclusions on key Presidency priorities including Personalised Medicines and Dementia. By the end of its Presidency, Luxemburg also hopes to have launched a reflection process among policy-makers in the field of public health “to pave the way for a long-term patient-centred strategy”. This will then be taken up and continued in 2016 under the Dutch Presidency.
Undoubtedly, the evolving health care debate in Brussels and across Europe this semester is the challenge of providing the right policy framework for sustainable health systems. This is a challenge that requires an examination of all components that contribute to the cost of treating patients, with the focus on value for patients, the systems and society as a whole. Alongside discussions on the European Semester and health are the following events which will touch on this challenge and patient access to quality care is the milestone event on 50 years of EU Pharma Legislation: on 28 September and the annual European Health Forum Gastein.
Other key themes on our “back-to-school” agenda, some of which are just around the corner, are:
- Competitiveness of the pharmaceutical sector: EPP Group hearing on Competitiveness of the Pharmaceutical Sector: “The future of medicine - Towards an integrated EU policy approach for the pharmaceutical sector”, 30 September. Building on this will be Amcham’s event on ‘Investing in Health for Europe 2020’ and ‘How the Life Sciences Industry is key to health, wealth and growth’ in October.
- Innovation features strongly with Biotech week, 12-18 October, followed by the European Forum for Industrial Biotechnology, 27 October. Also worth looking out for: the European Medicines Agency (EMA)/ European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) Innovation and Biomarkers in Cancer conference, 3-4 December.
- Chronic diseases, prevention and issues around the challenges of treating patients with more than one chronic disease will be in the frame; Kicking off with the Luxemburg presidency event on 30 years of EU action against cancer on 15 September, followed by EMSO; the European Association for the Study of Diabetes annual meeting later in September. That isn’t to forget plenty of action around disease awareness with World Heart Day on 29 September, World Arthritis Day on 12 October, World Psoriasis Day on the 29th October and World Diabetes Day, 14 November, to name just a few. There are a plethora of advocacy events taking place around these which we’ll be reporting on.
- Trade will continue to be a hot topic for many sectors, with the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership Advisory Group meeting on the 17 September 2015, and the still to be confirmed 11th Round of TTIP negotiations in Miami, 19-23 October. External events include Politico’s “The politics of TTIP: Deal or no Deal?”, 17 September.
And that’s literally just a snapshot. It’s going to be a busy semester. There’s so much happening that we couldn’t list it all so watch this space!