EFA Board and Officers Annual Meeting with Sustainable Funding Partners
On 19th February, the EFA Board and EFA Secretariat met with the sustainable funding partners of EFA to discuss its achievements and activities in 2013 but more importantly the future of EFA from both the short term and long term perspectives. Since EFA received an Operating Grant from the European Commission Health Programme for 2014 which brings changes to EFA’s funding structure. These changes were presented to funding partners. Further attention was placed upon our Manifesto for the European Parliament elections, as well as EFA’s project programme, including involvement in EU research projects. The EFA’s own projects along with the proposals for several new ones for 2014 and beyond were presented as well as the outlook of the EFA’s possibilities to attract new potential members in coming years and the ways current members are involved with EFA’s ongoing activities. The meeting was moderated by EFA President Breda Flood and concluded by EFA Vice-President Christine Rolland.
Sustainable funding partners are essential for EFA’s project portfolio, which has in the past resulted in publications such as the EFA Book on Minimum Standards of Care for COPD Patients in Europe and Enabling Air Travel with Oxygen in Europe: An EFA Booklet for Patients with Chronic Respiratory Disease. We hope that this meeting helped to strengthen the sustainability and mutual respect between EFA and our funding partners.
EMA Patient and Consumers Working Party (PCWP) meeting in London
On 25th and 26th February, EFA Board Member Lina Buzermaniene attended Patient and Consumers Working Party (PCWP) meeting organised by European Medicines Agency (EMA) in its headquarters in London. During the meeting on the first day, topics like Patients and consumers involvement in EMA activities as well as EMA framework for interaction with patients and consumers were discussed. Later on, PCWP had a joint meeting with the Healthcare Professionals Working Party (HCPWP) where pharmacovigilance or transparency initiatives were talked over.
Additionally, for the first time, EMA proposed a pilot phase project how to involve patients into Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) activities. It is the outcome of many years of discussions between patients, consumers and the Agency. For the pilot phase, two patients or carers will be invited to CHMP meetings to discuss controversial issues, where negative opinion on medicine is more likely, and one member of the Patients and Consumers Working Party (PCWP) will assist them during the process. The proposal on patient involvement will be presented for adoption to EMA Management Board meeting in March.
The second day of the meeting was dedicated to workshop on regulatory and methodological standards to improve benefit/risk evaluation of medicines. Both PCWP and HCPWP groups were present and added specific input from their perspective.
On 6th February, EFA President Breda Flood attended a Disease Awareness Steering Committee (Novartis) in London. She also attended Boehringer Ingelheim’s Patient Advisory Group – Communications Advisory Board which took place in Paris on 25th February.
On 11th February, EU Policy Advisor Roberta Savli attended meeting of European Parliament Interest Group on Mental Health, Well-being and Brain Disorders. The meeting was entitled Alcohol and Mental Health – the EU response and attendance of EFA at the meeting served as informative tool for future possible EP Interest Group on the disease areas EFA is working with.
On the 24th of February, EFA EU Policy Advisor Roberta Savli took part in a task-force created within the Patient-MedTech Dialogue with the objective of developing comprehensive criteria for a patient-centred company. The list of criteria, which go from including patients into companies’ objectives to providing accurate information to them, will be presented in next Patient-MedTech Dialogue, scheduled for the 21st of March.