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European Health Policies

European Medicines Agency launches strategy on medicines for older people

The European Medicines Agency will ensure that the needs of the ageing population in the European Union are taken into account in the development and evaluation of new medicines, according to its geriatric medicines strategy.

The strategy sets out the Agency's vision for the development of medicines for the elderly by building on its existing activities. In particular, the Agency aims to:
  • ensure that the medicines used by older people are of high quality and are studied appropriately in the older population, both before and after authorisation;
  • improve the availability of information for older people on the use of medicines.
More >>

New resources for preventing falls among the older population
EuroSafe, the European Association for Injury Prevention, has cooperated within the APOLLO project. This three-year project (2005- 2008) was aimed at filling knowledge gaps on specific aspects that hinder the implementation of large scale interventions for the prevention of falls among older people.
A technical report has been recently released on the “Feasibility of large scale interventions for preventing falls among older people in the European Union”. The document provides key information on the methods and results of four studies conducted during the APOLLO project, and on a case study of two implementations of the same intervention in two different EU countries.
A “Guide for implementers of interventions to prevent falls in community dwelling older people” has also been recently released in November 2008 together with the report “Prevention of falls in older people: Time to act” that provides recommendations for promoting the prevention of falls in community-dwelling of older people. The report looks at what works in preventing falls, in facilitating and monitoring the success of the proposed intervention fall prevention and the promotion of health and mental well-being among older people. The information in those documents can be used by public health researchers, implementers of interventions for the prevention of falls and parties involved in the design of national or local action plans in order to evaluate the feasibility of large scale interventions at EU level.
All documents are available at:

http://www.eurosafe.eu.com/csi/eurosafe2006.nsf/wwwVwContent/l3results.htm?OpenDocument


In the UK, June 23, has been declared National Falls Awareness Day
www.helptheaged.org.uk/fallsday

The WHO report “Primary Health Care – now more than ever” 

re-emphasizes the importance of universally accessible primary health care as a basic system to promote equity in health in all countries, on the 30th anniversary of the Alma-Ata International Conference on Primary Health Care held in 1978, the first event to put health equity on the international political agenda.



Healthcare without borders
Commission calls for rules to make it easier for Europeans to travel abroad for medical treatment. More>>

Review of Preliminary National Policy Statements on Health Care and Long-term Care
http://ec.europa.eu/employment_social/spsi/docs/social_protection/spc_ltc_2005_en.pdf

Commission is seeking views on priorities for the annual work plan 2009

The Health Programme 2008-2013 entered into force on 1 January 2008. The Programme is intended to complement, support and add value to the policies of the Member States and contribute to increased solidarity and prosperity in the European Union by protecting and promoting human health and safety and by improving public health.

The Programme is implemented by means of an annual work plan which sets out the areas that will be funded and gives an indicative budget for each financing mechanism. To ensure that European citizens can give their input into the Programme, the  Directorate General for Health and Consumers is seeking input on priorities for the 2009 work plan.

The scope of the work plan is part of the objectives of the overall programme, i.e.

  • To improve citizens' health security;
  • To promote health, including the reduction of health inequalities,
  • To generate and disseminate health information and knowledge.

A document outlining the preliminary orientations for the 2009 priorities of the Work Plan is available here

Views and suggestions can be sent to: sanco-workplan2009@ec.europa.eu

Deadline for submissions is 30 September 2008

For more information:

Preliminary orientations: http://ec.europa.eu/health/ph_programme/documents/wp2009.pdf

Health Programme: http://ec.europa.eu/health/ph_programme/pgm2008_2013_en.htm

Eurostat: demographic ageing could lead to health and pensions crisis
A Eurostat report, published on 26 August, predicts that from 2015 onwards, deaths would outnumber births in the EU. By 2060, one in three Europeans will be aged over 65.  With people living longer and low fertility rates across Europe, natural population growth would come to a halt by 2015.  As of 2035, net migration flows would be insufficient to counterbalance the negative natural change. Today's ratio of four working-age people per pensioner would be reduced to two within the next fifty years and this could create a real pensions 'timebomb', according to the report. The situation would be worst in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia, where emigration means there could be as few as 1.5 working age people per pensioner.

While expressing caution over the accuracy of these projections, the Commission expressed concern regarding the burden of demographic ageing on the economy. According to a Commission’s spokesperson, demographic ageing represents as big a problem as the challenges of globalisation and climate change. Governments will need to consolidate public finances, raise employment rates and reform their pension, healthcare and long-term care systems.

Immigration could also provide solutions, as seen in the UK, but many European countries are sceptical about opening the doors to foreign workers.

For more information:

Press release: http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=STAT/08/119&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en

Commission on Social Determinants of Health - Final Report of  .
http://www.who.int/social_determinants/final_report/en/index.html

HEALTH - Work Programme 2009

http://ec.europa.eu/health/ph_programme/documents/wp2009.pdf

Commission invites participation in the 2009 Open Health Forum
As part of the activities of the EU Health Forum, the Commission has announced its intention to organize a second Open Health Forum on 10 and 11 December in Brussels. Under the overall theme of "Developing and Implementing Health in the European Union", the event has the objective to strengthen the involvement of all stakeholders in contributing to the development and implementation of activities to protect and improve health and to optimise their contribution to the implementation of the EU health strategy.  This strategy  aims to deliver concrete results in improving health and a new EU-level structured cooperation mechanism will be developed to promote coordination between the Member States and to assist the Commission in identifying priorities, defining indicators, producing guidelines and recommendations, fostering exchange of good practice, and measuring progress. All interested parties/organizations with an interest in EU health policy can register for the Forum.
For more information:
http://ec.europa.eu/health/ph_overview/health_forum/open_2008/index_en.htm

Commission launches ‘Europe for Patients’ website 
On 30 September, the Commission launched a new campaign with the aim to reach out to citizens via a website which showcases initiatives to improve health care across Europe. The aim is to provide a coherent and tangible communication framework for the many different healthcare policies that the Commission is planning. The site offers updated information on EU initiatives as well as related articles and events posted by national and regional health organisations.
The campaign features ten initiatives, which address patient safety, cross-border health care, rare diseases, organ donation and transplantation, cancer screening, the healthcare workforce, flu and childhood vaccination and the use of antibiotics. The overarching goal is to provide better health care for all in Europe
For the website:
http://ec.europa.eu/health-eu/europe_for_patients/index_en.htm






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