EU council conclusions ‘realistic’ on implementing personalised medicine

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Published: 11 Dec 2015
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European Alliance for Personalised Medicine

Luxembourg, the current holder of the EU’s rotating presidency, unveiled its long-awaited Council Conclusions on personalised medicine.

While these are, of course, merely recommendations and invitations to Member States to act in certain areas, and carry little political weight, they have been welcomed in many quarters as a significant step forward in pushing the agenda in this exciting new field.

The main focus of the conclusions is rightly on patients and their access to innovative new treatments and, in a Europe with an ageing population of 500 million citizens, this can only be for the good.

Luxembourg’s health mister, Lydia Mutsch, said on Monday: " We all know that, nowadays, patients get more and more involved in their own treatment. Social media allow for access to all sorts of information. If we want to make access to targeted treatment easier, it is important that we enable patients to make informed choices.

"Governmental authorities should have an active role to play because they give the guarantee that their information is based on objective and balanced data - which is not always the case when this information is provided by industry."

The latter remark is a solid one although there was, it has to be said, some watering down of sections, such as that on pricing, due to Member State pressure (the EU has no overall competence on health, it is for individual countries to decide on the majority of health-related policy, and they are notoriously reluctant to give up power in some areas).

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