PressPress Releases, In the Media, and Contact
Rapid diagnostics in the fight against antimicrobial resistance: ERS and VALUE-Dx project event roundup
Event roundup that gathered over 230 participants, including health professionals, EU officials, patients, researchers, civil society and industry representatives.
MEPs call for a multisectoral and multidisciplinary approach to tackling this silent pandemic.
Bulgarian authorities advise practitioners to not prescribe antibiotics for COVID-19 as a way to fight antibiotic resistance in the broader sense.
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In the Media
A curated selection of EPHA’s mentions in worldwide media outlets.
Eurocities | Mayors to EU: Help us fill our lungs with clean air
One study published last year by the European Public Health Alliance, based on data from 432 cities, shows that the average total cost from air pollution in a European city is 3.9% of lost GDP – around €1,000 lost for each citizen each year, leading to a lower standard of living. In Warsaw this rises significantly to around €2,500.
Mental health is an “under-represented issue, especially among Roma”, even though it is a “crucial aspect” of their well-being, explains Tomas de Jong, a policy assistant from the Roma Health Network at the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA).
Non-exhaust particulate matter from brakes and tyres are less well-known than tailpipe particles but are similarly toxic, according to Matteo Barisione, a policy manager with the European Public Health Alliance.
AMR DRUG INCENTIVES LACKING: The European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) and the ReAct Europe network to tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR) this morning issued an urgent call for the European Commission to consider a wider range of options to incentivize drugmakers to develop novel antibiotics.
This “would have allowed HERA to be more agile and effective during emergencies,” said Rosa Castro at the European Public Health Alliance. But, she cautioned, this needs to be coupled with “strong mechanisms to ensure transparency and periodic scrutiny.”
POLITICO Pro | Big Sugar makes last-ditch assault on EU labels
Nikolai Pushkarev, who specializes in food systems at the European Public Health Alliance, accused CEFS of trying to “pass the buck” by focusing on energy and diets in general instead of sugar.
Civil society: EPHA, meanwhile, envisions the agency as a completely autonomous body — “a purely public organisation with a clear public health mission, not to be conflated with areas of industrial policy,” Yannis Natsis wrote in a post. Natsis agrees the agency should be stuffed with lots of money and be willing to take on risk, but he wants its governance to include public health groups and the research community, so that the “affordability, availability, accessibility, socially responsible licensing and transparency conditions will be attached to the end products.”
GUIDO RASI OPENS UP ON EMA: Almost four months since his departure, the EMA’s former chief Guido Rasi spoke candidly on Tuesday about his experiences at the agency — especially in the last year before he stepped down — in the midst of the pandemic. In a one-to-one interview with Yannis Natsis, policy manager for universal access and affordable medicines at the European Public Health Alliance, Rasi opened up for the first time since leaving the post.
EX-EMA BOSS BLAMES EU NEGOTIATORS: Amid griping from various EU countries about the slow approvals, former EMA chief Guido Rasi called the Commission’s vaccine contracts “naive.” At a virtual gathering on Tuesday, Rasi accused Sandra Gallina, a top Commission official recruited to lead the EU’s negotiating team, and her counterparts from EU capitals, of not knowing how to deal with Big Pharma. “Everybody was put in the field without even knowing the rules of the game,” Rasi said. Helen Collis has more for POLITICO Health Pros.
The European Public Health Alliance is pressing for three layers of transparency. Its policy manager, Yannis Natsis, says, “This means publishing the contracts with the minimum of redactions, the exchanges between the commission and pharmaceutical companies, and the internal communication between the commission and member states.”
Four major health stakeholders – European Public Health Alliance (EPHA), European Patients’ Forum (EPF), Alzheimer Europe, and Eurordis (Rare Disease Europe) – combined forces under the hashtag #SaveEUHealthNGOs in an attempt to reinstate structural fundings in the new EU4Health programme.
NGO FUNDING: The European Commission has reversed a controversial decision to end operating grants for health-focused civil society groups, Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides announced this week. The decision to backtrack comes after months of campaigning from both health not-for-profits as well as MEPs who argued the move would reduce civil society groups’ ability to operate effectively, writes my colleague Carlo Martuscelli.
“The EU has a unique opportunity with HERA and other pieces of the European Health Union to lead global actions to address health emergencies”, EPHA told EURACTIV on behalf of all the NGOs.
“HEALTH, FOOD GROUPS CALL FOR FOOD ADVERTISING RESTRICTIONS: Twenty European health, medical, consumer, child and family organizations called for the European institutions to adopt legislation that would protect children from “the widespread, ubiquitous and insidious marketing of nutritionally poor food.”
According to the European Public Health Alliance, AI has the potential to “improve screening, diagnoses and treatments across many medical disciplines and in many disease areas”, but all of this relies on data. The increasing presence of AI in public health has been driven by access to a greater volume and variety of data, combined with greater computing power.
More than 30 groups and researchers, including the European Public Health Alliance and Health Action International, signed a joint letter in December saying that Hogan focused too heavily on commercial interests. A stronger transparency policy is “fundamental to ensure patient safety and allowing public scrutiny … while enabling trust in and accountability of the regulator,” they argued.
The groups, including the NCD Alliance, European Heart Network and the European Public Health Alliance, “urge that a thorough prevention pillar should be included in Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan with special attention to tackling challenges common to all NCDs, and to initiate a process towards a wider EU strategic approach to the prevention of chronic diseases, including mental ill-health.”