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A healthier future for Europe

That was the title of a multi-stakeholder meeting held in Brussels in early November 2016. The event was organised by EFPIA, the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations, to encourage dialogue between different stakeholders and share best practice.

It brought together patient organisation representatives, healthcare professionals and industry representatives from across Europe.

This year the participants were focusing on the challenges and opportunities in developing a more outcomes-driven, sustainable approach to healthcare in Europe as well as optimal patient engagement throughout the lifecycle of a medicine. The key lesson learnt is the need to bring in patients to discuss what the outcomes are that they care about.

Joanna Robaczewska, EPAP PAG member, attended the summit, and this is her report:

One of the speakers, Dr Christina Akerman, President of the International Consortium for Health Outcomes Measurement (ICHOM), sought to define outcomes as essentially, the ability to live normal, productive lives.

Bettina Ryll, founder of Melanoma Patient Network Europe, stressed that people, who are not patients do not fully comprehend what it is like to be a patient. She added that patients understand the condition they live with the best, and that they are the largest under-used resource of our healthcare systems. “Patients have access to knowledge that can help us target interventions at what matters most”, she said.

Nevertheless, she also noted that there is no such thing as ‘a patient perspective’, as there are countless conditions that vary greatly and therefore different groups/people may see different risks and benefits for the same treatment. She said that for a patient, achieving the best outcome meant not only living longer, but also living well – this means dignity.

More detailed overview of the discussions that took place over two days of the event can be found in EFPIA-Health-Collaboration-2016-Summary-Report. You can also watch the Highlights from the Health Collaboration Summit 2016 where speakers and patients representatives share their takeaways from the event.