01 April 2015
Asthma , Allergy
- Inequalities, - Healthcare

MEPs Sirpa Pietikainen and Nessa Childers, patients and doctors have joined forces in an Interest Group to take actions on allergy and asthma in Europe, launched on 25 March at the European Parliament. We are delighted that the European Commission DG Research and Innovation, DG Environment, DG SANTE and the WHO Europe, together with our partners ERS and HEAL and industry representatives attended the launch.  The Interest Group will serve to share expertise and help align interests to trigger EU policy actions on allergy and asthma health.

20150325 - IG Allergies and Asthma launch

Over 150 million EU citizens live with allergies but half of them are underdiagnosed or have their disease uncontrolled. Around 30 million people in Europe have asthma and as many as 6 million of these people suffer severe symptoms. Allergy and asthma are amongst the most prevalent chronic diseases in Europe, in particular in children, although many patients do not report their symptoms or are not correctly diagnosed.

Need to deal holistically and systematically with asthma and allergy

The Interest Group (IG) is an informal group of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) committed to give a clearer policy response to address allergy and asthma at the EU level. Chaired by MEP Sirpa Pietikainen and co-chaired by Nessa Childers, the Interest Group will serve to share expertise and help align interests to trigger EU policy actions on allergy and asthma health. Members of the Group will provide a strong and unified contribution to EU policies on chronic diseases, air pollution, and research among others. The Secretariat of the Interest Group on Allergy and Asthma will be run by the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) in partnership with the European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients’ Associations (EFA) and will work closely to voice the needs of people living with allergy and asthma. The Interest Group will bring attention to topics such as the following:

  • Raising awareness of allergies as highly prevalent chronic diseases with a major socioeconomic burden requiring a policy coordinated response
  • Promoting allergy health through health in all policies principle
  • Fostering European research into allergic diseases
  • Addressing inequalities and sharing best practices in European healthcare systems for the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, involvement and care of allergic patients
  • Training in allergology, among both general practitioners and specialists, and the cross-border movement of allergologists
  • Exchange of patient centred national programmes to tackle the burden of allergic diseases to ensure best practices are applied in different EU Member States
  • Prevention of allergic diseases by working among others on environment, chemicals in daily life products and food allergen labelling

Do you want to support the Interest Group on Allergies and Asthma?

Patients and doctors expect that such a dedicated Interest Group on Allergy and Asthma will help develop a network of MEP ambassadors supportive of research on the causes of allergy and asthma, prevention, treatment and management of these diseases, as well as raising awareness of the growing incidence of asthma and allergy in Europe. The Group will also be proactive in promoting a better quality of life and access to care of the patients. The European Commission health-related services, Member States health and research attachés, industry representatives, patients groups, academia and the public health community in general will be the key contributors to the Interest Group on Allergy and Asthma.

Please visit our website to access the Press Release of the launch of the Interest Group and contact EFA Senior EU Policy Advisor This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. is you are interested in supporting this group – we need you!

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The EFA Team