Cookie Consent by Free Privacy Policy Generator
25 June 2024
Asthma , COPD, Allergy

Early June, EFA responded to the stakeholders’ consultation around the strategic priorities of the 2025 Annual Work Programme of the EU health programme (EU4Health). This year’s consultation raised the issue of downsising the EU health budget by 20%, expected to take effect from 2025 onwards, and allowed for more elaborated input from stakeholders than previous editions. EFA Community used this opportunity to shed light on the most pressing needs for allergy, asthma and COPD patients in Europe.

What focus do EFA patients want in the EU4Health programme? 

Prevention, preparedness and response to health threats is a key priority for EFA community of patients. The biggest one, climate change requires urgent adaptation actions, to reinforce civil protection mechanisms at the EU and national level, and to raise awareness.

From a more traditional prevention perspective, achieving a smoke-free generation by 2040 emerges as a central goal, as the tobacco epidemic poses a continuous challenge linked to respiratory and other diseases. Moreover, policies on food systems must raise the bar in ensuring consumer safety.  

Strengthening healthcare systems’ capacity to respond to health threats is another key priority, best to be achieved through cooperation among all stakeholders, including patient groups and medical societies. Moreover, the expansion, where possible, of existing medical countermeasures to other efficient uses, can contribute to addressing shortages and help towards more efficient systems.

Facilitating digital transition and innovation in health 

It is important that the EU keeps the momentum of digitalising the health sector. Digital health, including its AI applications, can be a game-changer in improving patient care and health outcomes. To this end, it is critical to ensure a patient-centred approach in the use of primary and secondary health data, built in a way that safeguards patients’ ownership, consent, and data privacy. Digital means are a key asset in terms of secondary prevention, facilitating earlier diagnosis and disease self-management.  

From an innovation angle, support for healthcare systems is urgently needed to reverse persisting inequalities in access to care. For example, patients using medicinal products such as those combining drugs and devices (e.g. inhalers used in asthma), can greatly benefit from a more cohesive legislative framework.  

EFA believes that there is a huge untapped potential for EU added value in innovation: tabling proposals for disease-specific innovations, conducting joint health technology assessments, and modernising and digitalising the healthcare systems, are just a few examples.  

Finally, patients must be involved in all discussions on research priorities, as they can help design safe and scalable care pathways. The creation and continuous support of official forums, networks, platforms and expert groups that actively require stakeholder representation, is key in this respect.  

You can find the full EFA response to the EU4Health consultation here