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Public Health priorities of the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union

The Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union outlined its priorities and main events in the field of public health to the Working Party on Public Health. Despite not managing a legislative dossier for which the group would be competent, developments in the pipeline are relevant for civil society engagement. Inspired by the Third Union Programme for Action in the field of health (2014-2020), EU Health Strategy, World Health Organization reports, reflection processes on (...)

European Commission launches new action plan to fight HIV/AIDS

On March 14, the European Commission (EC) presented the new Action Plan (AP) on HIV/AIDS in EU and neighbouring countries for 2014-2016, which builds on the achievements of the previous Action Plan 2009-2013. The EC highlights the importance of keeping HIV/AIDS high on the political agenda and focusing on HIV prevention and awareness-raising to tackle risk behaviour, as well as early and affordable treatment and care. At EPHA we consider that the inclusion of affordable treatment in the (...)

[Event report] Health in Europe - Making it Fairer

Nearly seven months from the end of its mandate, the current European Commission held its last major event "Health in Europe, making it fairer" in the field of public health on 18 March 2014. The conference focused on the current inequalities in health to make progress towards integrating discriminated and stigmatized social groups. The aim was to share good practices in promoting equity and combatting discrimination including health promotion, prevention and treatment. The European (...)

Potential ban of HIV self-testing kits caused a stir prior to IVD Medical Devices vote

Prior to the European Parliament vote on In Vitro Diagnostic Medical Devices, concerns have been voiced surrounding Amendment 40 and the potential ban of self-testing kits, such as those for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) as this would reduce vital additional testing opportunities for people. In September 2012, the European Commission launched a renewed legislative package for medical devices and In Vitro diagnostic medical devices. The procedure is now approaching (...)

Call for an EU Strategy and Action Plan on HIV/AIDS after 2013

EPHA joined over 200 health advocates in signing a call to the European Commission and European leaders to re-affirm their leadership and Commitment on HIV/AIDS, both inside and outside of the EU, by approving a new Strategy and Action Plan on HIV/AIDS. The call was sent to the Health Commissioner and President of the College of Commissioners. Nearly 200 stakeholders , including national, European and international NGOs and networks, researchers, doctors, professional associations, medical (...)

Collaboration between Medicine Patent Pool and ViiV Healthcare will increase access to HIV medicines

On 27 February, the European AIDS Treatment Group (EATG) presented the position on innovative Paediatric Collaboration between the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) and ViiV Healthcare. The agreement will facilitate and increase the provision of HIV medicines for children in a whole world. The European AIDS Treatment Group (EATG) supports the collaboration between Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) and ViiV Healthcare. The license for paediatric formulations of the antiretroviral medicine abacavir (...)

EU Trade Agreement could increase the price of medicines in Moldova

On September 25, the EU Civil Society Forum (CSF) sent a letter to the European Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht. The letter referred to the access to affordable medicines and negotiations for a European Union (EU) Free Trade Agreement with Moldova. The EU is in the process of negotiating a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) with the eastern European state of the Republic of Moldova. Allegedly, it contains a provision that could endanger the health of people living with (...)

Austerity threatens Portugal’s drug program

The cuts to Portugal’s drug programme, combined with an increase in hard drug abuse, could be the beginning of a serious problem for this south European country. Drug policy in Portugal is a distinct model for many countries across the world. (Norway and Argentina even considered implementing parts of the Portuguese model). Yet, due to budget cuts coupled with an increasing consumption of hard drugs, Portugal’s successful approach to tackle drug abuse may become unaffordable. (...)

Council Conclusions on the EU Drugs Strategy 2013-2020

In view of the forthcoming adoption of the EU Drugs Strategy 2013-2020, the Council of the European Union published in June its Conclusions on the Strategy. EPHA summarises these below. The Council conclusions on the new EU Drugs Strategy lay out the state of play of the drug use and its implications in the EU: heroin use is the biggest drug problem, cannabis is the most commonly illicit drug used in the EU, followed by cocaine, worrying developments are happening in the synthetic (...)

EPHA Briefing on Antimicrobial Resistance

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has been described as one of the biggest threats to public health - a worrisome development since resistance to drugs designed to treat severe diseases is becoming more widespread. EPHA’s briefing describes the causes of AMR; evaluates what is being done at an EU and international level; and explores some of challenges faced today by public health. EPHA Briefing on AMR The increasing spread of AMR coupled with ineffective policies to counteract it, (...)