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EFA – Patient involvement is key for success of EU innovative research for chronic diseases

Patients’ representatives from more than 25 European countries participated in the very first stakeholder event of the new European Parliament, to share their visions on how innovative EU funded research can positively impact the lives of asthma, allergy and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients in Europe.

The event was organised by the European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Associations’ (EFA) and co-hosted by MEP Catherine Stihler, former MEP Petru Luhan with the participation of MEP Karin Kadenbach.

EFA is involved in EU funded projects by participating in advisory groups and providing with the patient perspective for ethics, safety and suitability of new solutions. A patient’s perspective is crucial for policy makers, as research priorities not only produce evidence but also indicate political importance.

Although healthcare systems and social investment rely on EU national budgets, the European Commission is working to improve public health across the 28 Member States. According to MEP Karin Kadenbach, “Investing in health should be one of the main aspects for our drive to raise employment in the EU.”

During the period 2007-2013, the Commission has allocated 5.5 billion Euros to health research, from basic to clinical research. In Horizon 2020, allergy and respiratory diseases do not receive specific attention in terms of funding as they are framed into bigger challenges common to all diseases.

This event allowed patients to be involved in the decisions influencing their health. Their expertise and vision should always be requested and taken into account, as they know better than others what it means to live with the disease and which kind of risks they are willing to take to have benefits in exchange.

Photos of the event available here

Originally posted on 26 June 2014

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