Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 33 n° 335

Stronger together: Collaboration at policy level to tackle the allergy epidemic in Europe

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 10 giugno 2015

barcelonaBarcelona (Spain) Yesterday, allergy experts and EU policy-makers met to discuss actions to be undertaken in partnership at the EU level to help curb the growing allergy epidemic in Europe.Allergy has become an epidemic in the EU: more than 150 million Europeans live with allergy and the current prediction is that by 2025 half of the entire EU population will be affected. Furthermore, allergy imposes a significant social and economic burden on EU citizens and health systems. The avoidable indirect costs of failure to treat allergy properly in the EU is estimated to be between 55 and 151 billion Euro per annum.Representatives from the European Commission, European Parliament, European Medicines Agency, European Patients Advocates, Industry, key EU Health Stakeholders, primary care and pharmacist organisation, EAACI leadership and its national allergy societies agreed during a high-level EU stakeholders meeting in Barcelona to work together at policy level on action which will help tackle this epidemic.Nikos Papadopoulos, immediate Past President of EAACI, opened the meeting stating that prioritisation of allergy on the EU health and environment policy agenda is urgently needed. Success in tackling the allergy crisis in Europe will require partnerships between all interested stakeholders and collaborative actions at EU policy level. Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Sirpa Pietikaïnen, who chairs the new MEP Interest Group on allergy and asthma in the European Parliament said “We need to act now and rally strong political support to take concrete actions.” Pietikaïnen further insisted that a strong EU action plan inclusive of both health and environment issues is of paramount importance.The guest speakers Christine Rolland, Marta Munoz Cuesta, Sergio Bonini and Roberto Gradnik – representing respectively the European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients’ Association (EFA), the European Commission (DG Environment), the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and European Biopharmaceutical Enterprises (EBE) – highlighted the main priorities from a patient, policy, scientific and industry perspective.All panellists agreed on the importance to improve the patients’ accessibility to appropriate care. Two of the key steps in that direction would be to formally recognise the allergology medical specialty and ensure adequate allergy training and education for primary care to improve early and accurate diagnosis. The necessity to develop a comprehensive EU strategy on chronic diseases and to foster allergy research in Europe by ensuring allocation of sufficient funding, were also addressed as main priorities.Antonella Muraro – incoming President of EAACI concluded that EAACI is fully committed to working in partnerships at all levels – from science to policy- to address unmet needs of allergy and asthma in Europe. She further announced that the next meeting of the MEP group on Allergy and Asthma – which is jointly coordinated by the EAACI EU Liaison Office in Brussels and EFA – will take place on 1 July at the European Parliament. The meeting entitled ‘Allergy and Asthma Patients need clean air in Europe’ will be a collaborative policy forum to debate current EU efforts to review clean air legislation and to ensure allergy patients’ needs are duly considered by EU policy makers.
The European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, EAACI, is a non-profit organisation active in the field of allergic and immunologic diseases such as asthma, rhinitis, eczema, occupational allergy, food and drug allergy and anaphylaxis. EAACI was founded in 1956 in Florence and has become the largest medical association in Europe in the field of allergy and clinical immunology. It includes over 8,500 members from 121 countries, as well as 49 National Allergy Societies.

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