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Round up of EU Monitor news
  1. Richard Price
  1. Correspondence to Dr Richard Price, EAHP, 3 Rue Abbe Cuypers, Brussels 1040, Belgium; po{at}

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

EAHP EU Monitor 12 October 2012

Responsible use of medicines can save $500bn a year globally

A report published by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics in October 2012 suggests half a trillion dollars a year in global health spending can be saved by more responsible use of medicines through aligning capabilities, resources and activities more strongly.

The IMS Institute report highlights six specific levers of opportunity to improve the use of medicines, namely:

  • Increasing patient adherence

  • Ensuring timely medicine use

  • Optimising antibiotic use

  • Preventing medication errors

  • Using low-cost generics where available

  • Managing polypharmacy.

The report considers that improvements in patient adherence make up more than half—$269 billion—of the $500 billion annual opportunity.

The report includes five recommendations for health ministers and other health system leaders to implement in order to drive improvements. These are:

  • Support a greater role for pharmacists in medicines management

  • Invest in medical audits that focus on elderly patients

  • Implement mandatory reporting of antibiotic use

  • Encourage a ‘no blame’ culture towards error reporting

  • Support targeted disease management programmes for prevalent non-communicable diseases.

Commissioner Dalli gives views on how the health sector can meet the austerity challenge

Speaking at the European Health Forum in Gastein in October, the European Commissioner for Health, John Dalli, set out his views on the need for innovation and efficiency in health systems across Europe in order to effectively meet the austerity challenge.

His suggested solutions for the health sector in meeting growing need in a time of constraint in public finance included:

  • Focusing on cutting known inefficiencies

  • European and cross-border cooperation in health to achieve larger economies of scale and greater sustainability

  • Implementing electronic patient records and prescription systems

  • Increased Health Technology Assessment cooperation between countries

  • Using EU Structural Funds to assist certain health purposes …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.