An open letter to the European Commission signed by 48 Members of the European Parliament and a large number of health stakeholders (including BioMed Alliance) calls for strengthened leadership that addresses silos in health research.  The letter was published on 9 July and highlights the value of biomedical research while stressing the need for a more coordinated European approach to health research.

MEP Dr. Petra de Sutter (GREENS/EFA, Belgium) initiated the letter, and the BioMed Alliance office supported her and her staff in finalising and promoting it. The letter argues that the COVID-19 crisis demonstrated that a coordinated response to health challenges requires prior planning and a long-term commitment based on a comprehensive vision. This can be driven by a credible body, in the form of a European Health Research Council.

The full letter is available here.

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The BioMed Alliance has submitted feedback for the consultation on the new Roadmap for the Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe. In the response, we stress the need for coordinated action in a number of policy areas that are crucial in the lifecycle of pharmaceuticals including support for biomedical research, academic clinical trials, health data sharing and cooperation on Health Technology Assessment.

The Pharmaceutical Strategy is a new European Commission initiative intended to coordinate efforts to help ensure Europe's supply of safe and affordable medicines that meet patients' needs. The Strategy covers the whole life cycle of pharmaceutical products from research & scientific discovery to authorisation and patient access. The Commission continues the consultation process with a more general consultation and is expected to publish its proposal by the end of the year.

Read the BioMed Alliance feedback to the Roadmap on the Pharmaceutical Strategy here.

The BioMed Alliance launched a new page providing an overview of resources on COVID-19. The page contains information on BioMed Alliance activities and provides and highlights materials that medical & research societies have published on the COVID-19 virus.

The page can be found here.

Read the Update June for the latest news around our activities, publications and relevant developments in EU health policy & regulations.

Read our analysis of the latest developments at EU level and a report of recent BioMed Alliance activities in the new Update May.

BioMed Alliance Board Member Berthold Koletzo, Loredana Simulescu (BioMed Alliance) and Mathilde Ollivier (UEG) have published an article in the United European Gastroenterology Journal explaining how joining forces is essential to strengthen European health research. They highlight the successes of cross-border health research and European funding programmes, explain how Horizon Europe is structured, stress the need for adequate funding and outline the activities of the BioMed Alliance.

The entire article is available here.

Our Update April is available now and includes a comprehensive overview of the latest news around the BioMed Alliance and relevant developments at EU level.

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On 31 January, the BioMed Alliance organised a joint workshop with the Federation of European Academies of Medicine (FEAM) on the Future of European Health Research. The workshop took place in the European Parliament and both European policy makers and researchers held a series of interesting presentations on health research.

The report of the workshop is available here

The BioMed Alliance published a statement on 9 April welcoming the European Commission’s proposal to postpone the application date of the Medical Devices regulation by one year, to 26 May 2021. The statement highlights several key elements that should be taken into account if the postponement will be approved.

Read the statement here.

Read our new March Update to get an overview of our activities and news, particularly related to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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The BioMed Alliance released a new statement and a letter to Commission President Ursula von der Leyen calling for support for medical and research societies to ensure continued guidance for healthcare professionals during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic poses a major challenge that has a disruptive effect on European health systems and societies. European health professionals are working around the clock to save the lives of European patients, and governments and the EU Institutions are doing everything in their power to support their heroic efforts. However, the medical and research societies that health professionals rely on for up-to-date information on clinical practice are facing serious challenges. As medical congresses are being cancelled or postponed, not-for-profit societies are faced with substantial costs that may threaten their existence and thus their ability to provide clinical guidance to health professionals. Therefore, the Biomedical Alliance in Europe calls on the EU and Member States to support medical societies to ensure they can continue providing their services now and in the future.

Read the letter to President Ursula von der Leyen here and the statement here

Take a look at our February Update to find more information about our activities in this month.

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The EU Health Coalition, in which the BioMed Alliance is an active member and chairs the research & innovation policy group, announced that the next EU Health Summit takes place on 4-5 May 2020. The high-level summit will be held in the Flemish Parliament and we look forward to organising the programme together with our partners. The conference will focus on the implementation of an updated version of the recommendations that were presented during the last conference in the end of 2018.

More information and the registration form are available here: 

Read the first Update of the new decade here to see how we started the year and to get a glimpse of what lies ahead.

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The BioMed Alliance started 2020 well, with a new President, President-Elect and a new Board Member. We look forward to working with them on the many interesting activities that we are planning this year.

  • In January, we welcomed our new President, Prof. Wilfried Ellmeier from the Medical University of Vienna. He has prepared for this role over the past two years as President-Elect and has extensive experience within the BioMed Alliance.
  • This means that Prof. Axel Pries has stepped down as president and will continue to be active as Past-President. We can all agree that Prof. Pries has been a great president that was very committed to the BioMed Alliance. Under his leadership, the organisation has developed substantially.
  • Prof. Gunhild Waldemar was appointed as President-Elect, her candidacy was approved during the General Assembly last November. Prof. Tobias Welte has taken over her role as treasurer.
  • We will also welcome a new Board Member, Prof. Tom Hemming Karlsen took over the seat of Prof. Colm O’Morain, who has come to the end of his term in the Board and has played an important role in the BioMed Alliance as Board Member, President-Elect, President and Past-President.

For more information about our Board Members, take a look at our Board of Directors Page.

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The BioMed Alliance and FEAM joined forces to co-organise a workshop exploring opportunities and challenges for maximising the impact of health research in the coming years. The event: ‘Working together for the Future of European Health Research’ takes place on 31 January from 11.00-13.00 in the European Parliament. The two-hour workshop includes presentations from leading academics, stakeholder representatives, MEPs, and key policy makers in the European Commission. The event is hosted by MEP Cristian Bușoi (EPP), MEP Graça Carvalho (EPP) and MEP Petra De Sutter (Greens/EFA).

With the increasing disease burden and challenges faced by European healthcare systems, health research is more important than ever. It has a transformative impact on the lives of patients and provides return on investment to society. Nonetheless, bottlenecks persist, including fragmentations in the health research funding system and limitations to the sustainability of funding. Health research is constantly evolving, and policy makers and researchers should work together to ensure that researchers have access to new developments, concepts and technologies needed to develop innovative ideas. At the same time, efforts should focus on effectively scaling-up and implementing these innovations, so they quickly reach patients. Cross-sectoral and cross-border cooperation are key in ensuring health research meets societal needs. Therefore, FEAM and the BioMed Alliance partner with influential policy makers and experienced researchers to have an open discussion on the future of European health research.

For more information, the agenda is available here and the registration form can be found here.

To mark the end of 2019, we would like to share a festive end-of-the-year Update with you. In this December edition you can find a brief summary of our activities in 2019, editorials written by our Board of Directors members and a preview of what lies ahead in 2020.

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During the BioMed Alliance General Assembly on 20 November several governance changes were discussed. Tom Hemming Karlsen from EASL was elected to the BioMed Alliance Board of Directors to replace Colm O’Morain, who has come to the end of his term in the Board. The Assembly also approved the nomination of Gunhild Waldemar as the next President-Elect.

Prof. Karlsen received the most votes out of the total of 6 candidates that applied for the vacant position. His experience as secretary general for EASL has provided him with expertise in EU Affairs and helped him get familiar with BioMed Alliance activities. We look forward to working with him in the coming years to continue expanding the BioMed Alliance.

The November update provides an overview of a busy month for the BioMed Alliance and at EU level, take a look for more information.

Read up on the latest developments related to the BioMed Alliance and EU Affairs in our new October Update