EuropaBio Patients BioForum 2020 - Key Take-Aways

Read the key take-ways of the latest meeting of EuropaBio's Patients BioForum

On 13 October 2020, the EuropaBio Patient BioForum met to discuss the policy and research prospects for healthcare biotechnology in the EU beyond 2020. EuropaBio member biopharmaceutical companies leading the way in medicine innovation in the EU and organisations representing EU patients from various disease areas, such as rare diseases, heart diseases and cancer, jointly reviewed the recent political developments and looked at embedding change from two perspectives:

1) Implementing a forward-looking EU Pharmaceutical Strategy.
With the Strategy expected by year end, it is crucially important to understand the needs of patients. One concrete development of the Strategy to discuss is the review of the EU Orphan and Paediatric Regulations. We invited patients and biopharmaceutical companies to brainstorm how our joint engagement in the policy debate on the future EU role in health can be more impactful.

2) The challenge of providing health and care to the non-COVID19 patient community.
The Forum participants had the opportunity to exchange on the multifaceted effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on chronic disease patients and their access to healthcare, as well as on the business continuity of biopharmaceutical companies serving these patients.

Read through the main take-aways of the meeting below:

  • The EU Pharmaceutical Strategy is embedded in a larger, holistic approach, and is connected to the other main EU Strategies (Green, Industrial, Digital)
  • The current discussion is only the starting point for longer-term and strategic dialogue, in partnership with all stakeholder groups, towards shaping an EU Health Union. 
  • The objective of supporting innovation needs further discussion among all relevant stakeholders and new models should be explored.
  • The COVID-19 frontline professionals need protection. Digital health records should be up and running across the EU.
  • COVID-19 is having grave effects on rare disease patients with 8 in 10 of them experiencing disruptions of care and about 21% of patients having no access to treatments.
  • Biopharmaceutical companies are focused on securing that therapies remain available and the development of new ones continues despite COVID-19.
  • There is need to recognise the role of patient organisations and co-created solutions that are fit for purpose for their intended users.