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Treatment Updates

In treatment news this month, new guidelines are published to help healthcare professionals in the field of smoking cessation, the European Patients’ Forum releases reports on patient involvement in HTA, 10 years of the ARIA project (allergic rhinitis and its impact on asthma) is marked with an article on its achievements, a new Directory of Health Apps is published and EFA reports from a conference on the development of paediatric medicines. 

ENSP publishes new smoking cessation guidelines

The European Network for Smoking and Tobacco Prevention (ENSP) has published a new set of ‘European Smoking Cessation Guidelines and Quality Standards’. The Guidelines are the result of an ENSP project to develop coherent and reliable support for healthcare professionals working in the field of smoking cessation. The boards that edited and revised the Guidelines included leading European academics in the field, and the content is in accordance with Article 14 of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) relating to ‘Demand reduction measures concerning tobacco dependence and cessation’.

On the 3rd of October EFA attended the ENSP Networking Day and presentation of the Guidelines at the European Parliament, hosted by the Member of European Parliament Ms Elena Oana Antonescu, EPP.  During the event, ENSP members discussed the Revision of the Tobacco Products Directive and presentations were made on various topics including the priorities for the tobacco control community, standardization/plain packaging in France, quitting hotlines for smokers, misleading figures for tar/nicotine/CO, snus, tobacco ingredients and additives and the display of tobacco products at points of sale. The Tobacco Products Directive is a key issue for EFA, for people with respiratory diseases and in particular people with COPD.  At the European Parliament, the co-authors of the Guidelines briefly presented the different sections, highlighting the most important findings. Guests from Turkey and Russia presented on tobacco cessation services in their countries, which contextualized the progress made in the European Union to date. More information

EPF publishes reports on HTA for patients/patient reps

The European Patients Forum (EPF) has recently published 3 reports on Health Technology Assessment (HTA), a multidisciplinary tool that examines the use of medical technology in healthcare. Despite the fact that patient perspective is crucial to this, practice shows that full and meaningful patient involvement in HTA is still a long way from being a reality. The 3 reports explore why this is the case and how best to remedy it. Each of the 3 reports focuses on a different stakeholder group – HTA agencies, HTA policy makers and patient organisations – and analyses their views, needs and expectations in order to assess the current and future role of patients in HTA. More information

Article on achievements of ARIA project published

It has been 10 years since the beginning of ARIA, Allergic Rhinitis and its Impact on Asthma Guidelines , which aims to educate and implement evidence-based management of allergic rhinitis in conjunction with asthma worldwide. It does this by supporting projects to improve health in this area, setting up rural healthcare projects and providing support for preventive, diagnostic, and therapeutic measures in healthcare. To mark the anniversary, Dr. Jean Bousquet, Chair of ARIA, has published an article on the achievements of the ARIA over the past 10 years, as well as its future needs, in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JACI). ARIA is a non-governmental grouping working in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO). More information

Publication of European Directory of Health Apps

Patient View has published a new European Directory of Health Apps 2012-2013. It focuses on a range of health applications recommended by patient groups and consumers. Of particular interest to EFA are the applications for managing asthma, allergy and COPD, which may be found on pages 17, 18, 27, 122, 126, 148 and 179. The booklet was distributed during the European Health Forum Gastein that was held in Austria in October.

Joint EFGCP/DIA/EMA Medicines for Children Conference on Development of Paediatric Medicines

On the 26th to 27th of September EFA Board member Lina Buzermaniene and EFA Executive Officer Susanna Palkonen (who attended on behalf of EPF) participated in a joint EFGCP (European Forum for Good Clinical Practice), DIA and EMA Medicines for Children Conference on the Development of Paediatric Medicines: From Learning to Adapting. Regulators from EMA and FDA, industry and other stakeholders reviewed the achievements and challenges of the recent Paediatric Regulation (EC/1901/2006) which came into force in 2007 with the objective of making authorised medicines available for children (0 – <18y) via high quality ethical research. Since then, paediatric investigation must be undertaken (via Paediatric Investigation Plans – PIPs) for all products intended for the EU market. The EMA Paediatric Committee (PDCO), which also includes patient members, is responsible for scientific review of PIPs. A PIP is essential to in order to validate (adult) marketing authorisation applications (MAA). An MAA must either contain the results of an agreed PIP or EMA decision on waivers/deferrals. An approved PIP is needed for all new marketing authorisation applications; major variation applications for existing products; new indications; and new formulations incl. new routes of administration. Prof. Professor Ulrich Wahn of the Paediatric Pneumology & Immunology Department of Charité University of Medicine, Berlin, stressed the need to amend PIPs in the clinical development of products for specific immunotherapy purposes and to adapt them to the specific needs of children. For more information and to download the presentations see the conference website

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