Pathways to better and affordable medicines.

                   At the European Health Forum Gastein

Organised by Open Society Foundations (OSF) in cooperation with European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) and European Public Health Association (EUPHA)


2016 was a year of political recognition that imbalances exist in the pharmaceutical system along with widespread concerns about the sustainability of healthcare systems in Europe. The price of both old and new medicines has been rising dramatically, leading to rationing of medicines for patients and other access to treatment challenges. These problems are the result of a dysfunctional R&D system that  prioritises profits over public health imperatives and individual patients’ needs.

This session will respond to the calls by EU and national policy-makers for actionable policy recommendations. It will articulate a set of short, mid and long-term policy proposals in the area of incentives for drug development and the need for public health needs-driven regulatory reform in Europe, to guarantee genuine therapeutic advance for the benefit of all patients.



Welcome & introductory remarks

KITI KAJANA PHILLIPS, Program Officer, Access to Medicines & Innovation, Public Health Program, Open Society Foundations (OSF)

Panel I – Do we get the medicines we need and can afford?

Interventions from:

COURTNEY DAVIS, PhD, Director of the Masters in Medicine, Health and Public Policy, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Kings College, London

AJAY AGGARWAL, MD, Consultant Clinical Oncologist, Department of Health Services Research and Policy, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

SUERIE MOON PhD, Director of Research at the Global Health Centre, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva and Adjunct Lecturer on Global Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

LIVIO GARATTINI, PhD, Director, Angelo & Angela Valenti – Centre of Health Economics (CESAV), Mario Negri Institute


DEBORAH COHEN, Investigations Editor, British Medical Journal (BMJ)

Panel II - The access to medicines problems in Europe: What can governments do?

Interventions from

MARCEL VAN RAAIJ, PhD, Director Medicines & Medical Technology, Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, The Netherlands

CLEMENS MARTIN AUER, PhD, Director General, Federal Ministry of Health & Women’s Affairs, Austria and President, European Health Forum Gastein

MELANIE KENNEDY, Patient Advocate, Just Treatment, UK

MARTIN MUNTE, President, Pharmig – Association of the Austrian Pharmaceutical Industry; and Chief Executive Officer, Amgen

YANNIS NATSIS, Policy Manager, Universal Access & Affordable Medicines, European Public Health Alliance (EPHA)


MARTIN MCKEE, Professor, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

British Medical Journal (BMJ) presents ground-breaking study at “Medicines: New Game, New Rules” session at Gastein


This study highlights the key question: Are we the public, via the European Medicines Agency asking drug manufacturers the right questions? It is therefore high time we had a critical look at the role of the regulator and the signals it is sending to the market. It is important to guarantee that the top European regulator serves the public interest and its work promotes real therapeutic advance for the benefit of all patients. Patients expect, deserve and demand evidence and information, not hype.

Yannis Natsis

Universal Access and Affordable Medicines Policy Manager, EPHA

Re-live the event

Event Webcast

Courtesy of EHFG 2017: Health in All Politics – a better future for Europe

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Courtesy of EHFG 2017: Health in All Politics – a better future for Europe

Re-live the online discussion

European Health Forum Gastein 2016

“Healthy” innovation: putting patients before profits

Organised by Open Society Foundations in collaboration with EPHA and EUPHA


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