Mr Johan Prevot was pleased to participate in the meeting of the European Parliament Interest Group on Innovation in Health and Social Care on June 7, 2018, in Brussels, as IPOPI’s Executive Director and as Board Member of Health First Europe (HFE), along with policymakers and health representatives. The event focused on “Shaping the future of public health towards screening and early diagnosis”, to highlight the critical role of secondary prevention to improve patients’ outcomes while contributing to the financial sustainability of healthcare system.
EU action on secondary prevention is still limited. Access to early diagnosis, which is a central component of secondary prevention, also varies across countries, challenging EU goal to give people equal access to high-quality healthcare.
The event was chaired by Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Marian Harkin (ALDE, Ireland), who highlighted that screening tests can detect a disease in its earliest stages thereby increasing the chances of curing it, improving better quality of life for all patients and reducing costs for the system.
Ms Irene Norstedt, Head of Unit for Innovative and Personalised Medicine at Directorate-General (DG) Research and Innovation in the European Commission provided a presentation on innovative and personalise screening to improve diagnosis and treatment. The presentation also covered European Commission actions to support Member States throughout disease-related strategies and in exchanging good practices on screening programmes and access to early diagnosis.
Ms Norstedt pointed out the important role of European Reference Networks. She also explained the increasing importance of personalised medicines – defined as a new medical model built around an individual. Personalised medicines are new frontiers in health care designing, tailored screening, early diagnosis and therapeutic strategy for the right person at the right time, determining the predisposition to disease and/or delivering timely and targeted prevention. In this frame, coordination between resources is essential to deliver better health outcomes.