EAHP EU Monitor 05 December 2012


The EAHP EU Monitor is a weekly round up of news relevant to hospital pharmacy in Europe.

You can subscribe to receive the EAHP EU Monitor by email here.

EAHP and Europharm Forum launch survey on inter-sector communication between hospital and community pharmacy


EAHP and Europharm Forum have today launched a survey for community and hospital pharmacists in Europe to assess the current status of communication between the two sectors and what the barriers to better communication might be.

The survey seeks to discover the extent to which hospital and community pharmacists are typically in contact with each other to help patients manage their medicines when transferring between primary and secondary care. The survey also asks respondents to share best known practice (e.g. guidelines etc) in the area of inter-sector communication, and to consider in particular their experience in assisting patients with diabetes who often have particular needs in these respects.

The intention is to use the results of the survey as an introduction to a workshop on inter-sector communication to take place at the 18th Congress of the EAHP, 13th-15th March at the Palais des Congres, Paris. The overall theme of the 18th Congress is “Improving patient outcomes: a shared responsibility”.

Subscribers to the EAHP EU Monitor are kindly asked to contribute to the project by completing the short survey and circulating it to their colleagues.

Responses are requested by Friday 25 January 2013.

Survey here.

New report on improving innovation in European healthcare systems

A report entitled “Building an Open Innovation ecosystem in Europe for healthcare” has been launched in the European Parliament  which calls for a task force within the European Commission to be set up to promote open innovation within healthcare and for the adaptation of EU industrial policies to develop lead markets for life-science innovation.

The report is a product of a special task force established and funded under the Cyprus Presidency of the EU and made up of a range of mixture of pharmaceutical industry and other stakeholders, including the European Brain Council, the Cyprus Ministry of Health and the NHS Institute for Innovation (UK).

Responding to the sustainability threats faced by European health systems (e.g. ageing, chronic diseases, financial pressures), the report calls for more coordinated approaches to innovation, such as the existing Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI). The report aims to provide “an Open Innovation roadmap to create an integrated and interdependent environment (ecosystem) where companies, scientists, policymakers, governments, patients and other organisations can interact productively to promote radical change and innovation in healthcare supported by new developments in information and communication technologies (ICT).”

Its 4 major recommendations to the European Union are to:

  1. establish a new Public-Private Partnership under the European Commission funded Horizon 2020 research programme focused on common industry and public health needs, building on the achievements of and lessons learned from the Innovative Medicines Initiative;
  2. create a cross directorate task force within the European Commission to address the barriers to establishment of this Open Innovation healthcare ecosystem through a partnership centred approach;
  3. create an European Health Institute aiming at integrating the different actions from multiple stakeholders that are needed to empower citizens to be at the heart of healthcare across the European Union; and,
  4. use the upcoming industrial policies (as announced in the Commission Update of the Industrial Policy flagship initiative – “A Stronger European Industry for Growth and Economic Recovery”, 10th October 2012) to develop the concept of “lead markets” for life science innovation.

In a chapter of the report dealing with eHealth, the report recommends:

  • greater usage of health social networks that allow citizens to exchange thoughts and experiences” which the report’s authors consider will “empower patients without reducing the valuable role of healthcare professionals”;
  • continued support by the EU for the adoption of international open standards, to drive interoperability and open up fair competition within the marketplace; and,
  • improving legal certainty about eHealth (e.g. around data privacy and protection, and liability concerns).

In a chapter dealing with personalised medicine, the report recommends:

  • European countries work together to provide incentives for standardisation in areas such as digital pathology and next generation sequencing;
  • the adoption and recognition of new clinical trial methodologies to enable R&D to be conducted in a more efficient, cost-effective manner (e.g. modelling and simulation techniques, Bayesian methodologies and adaptive designs); and
  • continuation of European funding of high quality academic research in disease mechanisms and the development of the EU talent pool to underpin this.

The full report, “Building an Open Innovation ecosystem in Europe for healthcare” is available to read here.

A video transcript of the launch of the report is available here.

European Parliament holds hearing into multi-drug resistant TB in the EU 

The Health Committee of the European Parliament has held a special hearing into efforts to curb rates of drug resistant TB within the European Union.

Under the title “‘Funding crisis at the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria and its impact on EU countries most affected by multi-drug resistant TB”, the Committee questioned representatives from the European Commission and the World Health Organisation about the issues.

Since the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria was forced to cancel its last funding round in 2011, many Eastern European countries have been left facing cuts to their TB programmes and without the means to scale up their responses. This has caused particular concerns in relation to combating multidrug resistant TB (MDR-TB), the prevalence of which is a particular issue in some European countries such as Romania.

Dr Masoud Dara of WHO Europe explained that whilst the 53 member countries of WHO Europe region bear only 5% of the global TB cases, the region bears 20% of the global multidrug resistant TB burden. 18 of the 53 countries are considered to be “high priority” for action against TB, including Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey.

Dr Dara, highlighted that whilst migration, alongside prison, was one of the major social determinants of TB in Europe, there remained a lack of good systems in place in Europe for cross-border care of patients. Dr Dara advised that prevention and early diagnosis spending of 1bn can produce savings of 10bn in hospital costs later on.

Members of the European Parliament were interested to explore the funding challenges for some of the European countries involved. Romanian MEP Claudiu Tănăsescu, quoting WHO estimates that in his country there are 15,000 MDR-TB patients, suggested changes should be made to the criteria for funding used by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria in order to better support middle income countries in meeting the MDR-TB challenge.

Hearing available to view here (from 16:26). 

EJHP: Issue 6 now online!

The 2012 sixth edition of the European Journal of Hospital Pharmacy is now online!

The issue includes:

  • an introduction by new Editor in Chief Phil Wiffen; 
  • an opinion piece by Professor Per Hartvig Honoré on personalized medicine; 
  • highlights of the EAHP 2010 Survey relating to hospital pharmacy production and quality assurance;
  • research into the impacts for care from the use of patient bedside medicine lockers;
  • evaluation of clinical pharmacist interventions in a large Austrian tertiary hospital; and.
  • a series of articles looking at the practice of hospital pharmacy in Denmark.


See the full edition here.