On 15 October 2014, EFPIA is hosting the #HealthyEU Public Conference in Brussels : Health Driving Growth in Europe. It’s an event I’m looking forward to, as I think it will offer a great opportunity to discuss the future of health and economic growth in Europe – and the timing couldn’t’ be better.
With the start of a new Parliament and Commission, we have a great opportunity at hand. Many of Europe’s countries are still struggling to recover from the financial crisis, and health inequalities can be seen across the EU – both between and within nations. It’s no surprise that European health policy is high on the agenda these days. What’s more, with Europe’s ageing population, we will see a rise in chronic illnesses and other diseases in the future – and we need to start preparing for this now.
If we tackle EU health concerns correctly, we not only nurture healthier populations, we can also discover enormous gains for the EU and its citizens alike. Health has the potential to serve as a key enabler of a productive economy in Europe. If we get it right, quality healthcare can help keep people in work longer, can reduce absenteeism and, since Europe is one of the world’s leading regions in healthcare industries, directly generate economic value.
The Conference on October 15 brings some key opinion leader together to discuss. Guy Verhofstadt MEP, former Belgium Prime Minister will give the keynote speech, to be followed by a high-level panel including representatives from the OECD and the WHO/Europe Observatory on Health Systems and Policies. The panel will be chaired by Andrew Ward, Pharmaceutical Correspondent for the Financial Times.
Keeping an open conversation on healthcare going and giving voice to diverse opinions is a must. We must all endeavour to break down barriers and silos. We need not only collaboration but also open minds. We must be open to conversation, to new ideas and to working together.
I invite you to find out more by visiting the event website, http://healthandgrowth.eu/ and registering to attend. You can also follow the conversation on the day by using the hashtag #HealthyEU and following @EFPIA on Twitter. I look forward to hearing your voice.
In June of this year, EFPIA launched its “Health and Growth” Strategy for Europe, outlining its vision for an innovative collaborative approach towards a stronger, healthier EU – with a strong life sciences strategy at its core.
As new European leaders and policymakers begin their work to improve Europe’s future, EFPIA calls for greater political collaboration to agree a comprehensive strategy for life sciences, based on three separate but interdependent pillars:
- Improvement of health outcomes and removal of inequalities to better patient benefits;
- Support for sustainable and predictable healthcare systems to speed access to medicines;
- The building of a thriving innovative life sciences sector to promote European competitiveness.
At the heart of the Health & Growth strategy is the need for collaboration among a diversity of stakeholders. This means that everyone, from researchers, to payers and regulators, has to be involved in the conversation.1