Category: Advocacy news
Call for urgent action on medicine shortages in Europe
EPHA published a position paper on medicine shortages in Europe. EHA welcomes its recommendations to address the increasing shortages crisis, which threatens patient outcomes and patient safety.
ATMPs and CAR-T: the uptake challenge
Advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs) are a game changer for improving the lives of patients with severe to life-threatening diseases. Yet, despite fast-paced innovation in the field, few ATMPs have reached the EU market and benefited patients. The challenges facing their adoption by health systems are complex. A test case is the uptake of CAR T-cell therapy; what are the hurdles and what action is needed from stakeholders?
EU health policy: limited scope, high ambition
While health policy remains the primary responsibility of Member States, in many areas the added value of EU-level collaboration and harmonization has increased. EU initiatives in health have shown a mixed record in terms of impact, but hopes are high for the latest one, the ambitious Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan.
Revising the ICH Guidelines on Clinical Trials
Clinical trials and drug development have become more complex over the years. One complicating factor is the increased administrative burden, as was pointed out in the previous edition of HemAffairs. Doctors and clinical researchers are more and more bound to rules they deem neither necessary nor effective. At first sight, the requirements for clinical trials seem clear and thorough. Nonetheless, the interpretation and implementation of these rules leave room for improvement.
The past and future of the EU Blood, Tissues and Cells legislation
Blood, tissues and cells (BTC) are used in medicine and in hematology on a daily basis. EU legislation has been in place for over 15 years to regulate those practices, and to ensure safety and quality standards for substances of human origin (SoHO). For instance, through technical and traceability requirements for BTC, the reporting of serious adverse reactions (SARs), and verification procedures for imported BTC.
EHA’s Prof Jäger elected HCPWP co-chair
On September 24, Prof Ulrich Jäger, former EHA President and current member of the EHA European Affairs Committee, was elected as co-chair of the Health Care Professionals Working Party (HCPWP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA). He will lead the working party during its 2019-2022 mandate alongside Juan Garcia-Burgos, EMA’s head of Public Engagement.
Without access to treatment, can we truly innovate in rare diseases?
There have been many developments on rare diseases since the EU Orphan Medicinal Products Regulation came into force in 2000. As the European Commission is evaluating its effectiveness, EHA discussed with Prof. Giampaolo Merlini, Director of the Amyloidosis Research and Treatment Center and researcher at the Department of Molecular Medicine of the University of Pavia, how far we have come and what still needs to be done to improve access to treatment for rare diseases.
COST Action ‘EuNet-INNOCHRON’
The European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) is an EU-funded, intergovernmental framework that aims to create pan-European research networks in all science fields and promote excellence, foster interdisciplinary research and empower young researchers and innovators.
Open Access: the ‘Plan S’
Research and academic groundwork funded with public means should be free and open to everyone. That is the principle behind Open Access that was formulated in 2003 in the Berlin Declaration. More than a decade has passed since and for years no significant action was taken. Scientific research, paid for by the taxpayer, is still mostly locked behind paywalls.
Addressing the bureaucracy challenge
EHA has recently brought key stakeholders around the table to discuss bureaucratic obstacles in clinical research. Regulators, patient organizations, the European Commission and industry representatives were invited for a day-long discussion at EHA offices, building on an informal dialogue with the European Medicines Agency (EMA) that had been initiated by a group of prominent clinical researchers.
FUNDING ALERT: Calls published on ATMPs, T cells and cancer research
In recent weeks, two Calls for proposals were published that offer relevant funding opportunities for hematologists: IMI2 – 18th Call for proposals, a jointly funded partnership between the European Union, and Horizon 2020 – Call for cancer research proposals, call for research proposals in the category ‘Societal Challenge 1 (SC1): Health, demographic change and wellbeing’. .
Current status of the Clinical Trials Regulation
In 2014 the European Parliament approved the Clinical Trials Regulation (CTR) that is supposed to replace the Clinical Trials Directive (CTD) from 2001. Five years later, the regulation has not yet become applicable. What is the aim of the ‘new’ regulation, what issues does it address, and why was its application delayed?
EU Elections and Health Policy
2019 will see significant changes within the European institutions. The first already took place in late May, as 50% of EU citizens – the highest turnout since 1994 – went to the ballot box to elect their Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). The result: Confirmation that nationalism and Euroscepticism are on the rise, and a set-back of center political parties.
Rolling out CAR T across Europe
Patient-centric treatments such as gene and cell therapies have been a game-changer in tackling hematological disorders. Nonetheless, their development remains slow and erratic, limiting benefit for patients.
Tackling Sickle Cell Disease: the need for a European approach
Learning how to recognize and treat a disease that is relatively new to many parts of Europe, and spreading, is crucial to limit, if not avoid, irreversible impact and provide proper care to patients.