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Eur J Hosp Pharm 19:303-304 doi:10.1136/ejhpharm-2012-000141
  • EU news

Round-up of EU Monitor news

  1. Richard Price
  1. Correspondence to Richard Price, European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP), Rue Abbé Cuypers, 3, B - 1040 Brussels, Belgium; po{at}eahp.eu

The European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP) produces a weekly email of the top five European policy developments and other news of interest to hospital pharmacists called the EU Monitor. Below, EAHP Policy and Advocacy Officer Richard Price presents three recent highlights.

WHO report predicts doubling of dementia cases (EAHP EU monitor – 13 April 2012)

A recent report published by the WHO and Alzheimer's Disease International predicts the number of people worldwide with dementia will almost double to 65.7 million people by 2030.

Dr Oleg Chestnov, Assistant Director-General, Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health at WHO, has called for more action to be taken at a national level to help healthcare professionals both recognise dementia in patients and gain the skills required to provide for their clinical care.

The report also advises that clinical guidelines should

  • ‘articulate the limitations and the risks associated with the use of antipsychotic medications as a response to behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia’, and

  • ‘outline the criteria for pharmacological interventions, specifically the use of cholinesterase inhibitors’.

European regulators push for full publication of clinical trial data (EAHP EU Monitor – 13 April 2012)

Writing in the journal PLoS Medicine, a group of European regulators have set out a way forward for the publication of the results of clinical trials of authorised medicines.

Co-authored by the European Medicines Agency's Senior Medical Officer Hans-Georg Eichler, its Executive Director Guido Rasi, and three other European regulators, the article argues that clinical trial data should not be considered commercially confidential and that open access could also lead to public health benefits through independent analysis and the development of predictive models.

However, they warn that there is a risk of breaches of patient confidentiality in publication of full raw datasets. They also express their concerns that analysis by independent groups is not always equivalent to it being free of conflicts of interests and of high quality.

The authors conclude by arguing for the development of standards, both for protection of personal data and for meta-analyses and other types of confirmatory study, to overcome these risks. They also call for rules of engagement for sharing raw data, with the same standards applying to all clinical trial data on medicines, regardless of the type of sponsor.

European ‘Innovation Partnership’ to assist medicines adherence projects (EAHP EU Monitor – 6 April 2012)

On Tuesday 3 April the European Commission held an event in Brussels to inform stakeholders about a new ‘Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing’. The Partnership is seeking partners interested in starting ‘concrete actions’ in areas such as prescription adherence and polypharmacy research.

A European Innovation Partnership (EIP) is a novel concept that has the objective of accelerating innovation to address a well defined target within a grand societal challenge – in this case, Active and Healthy Ageing. The Partnership has now adopted a Strategic Implementation Plan which focuses on actions developed around three pillars:

  1. prevention, screening and early diagnosis,

  2. care and cure, and

  3. active ageing and independent living.

Under the first pillar, the Partnership's Steering Group has identified as relevant areas for priority action:

  • ‘health literacy, patient empowerment using innovative tools and services’, and

  • ‘personalised health management’.

Under the second pillar, the Partnership Steering Group sees the need to support innovative projects that help the health workforce manage multimorbidity and polypharmacy.

These areas of priority action by the Partnership may therefore have relevance to any hospital pharmacists involved in such areas as:

  • predischarge medicines counselling,

  • medicines reconciliation with older patients, and

  • polypharmacy research and/or guideline development.

The Commission's Partnership is now seeking projects in these areas to support and will seek to:

  • address regulatory barriers,

  • foster and share evidence base,

  • align funding instruments, and

  • exchange best practice.

If you are a hospital pharmacist and consider a project you are involved in related to health literacy, personalised health management, integrated care or multimorbidity could benefit from this initiative you can find more information on the website of the European Commission's website for the Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing.

The deadline to apply to be an active partner in the EIP is 31 May 2012.

Footnotes

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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