In this issue

EPHA Updates
EPHA Events
Members News


Reasons to be cheerful

The season of good cheer is almost upon us. So, we’re counting our blessings this month, with much to celebrate for public health in Europe and lots to look forward to.

Firstly, we’re proud to congratulate our friends in Scotland, especially at SHAAP and Eurocare, who - together with the wider health community working to reduce alcohol harm in the UK and Europe - have decisively won the long-fought battle to introduce minimum unit pricing (MUP). Their tireless campaigning is an inspiration which we can learn from. They continued to build on the evidence base and make the case for health in the national and international press, to support the case made by the Scottish Government that MUP would be effective in reducing harm to the heaviest drinkers and most vulnerable in society, and proportionate to the severity of the issue. The final legal judgement is a vital milestone for public health and could pave the way for many similar measures.

It’s lamentable that the alcohol lobby dragged it through the courts for five years. In that time, it’s estimated that MUP would have saved 400 lives. But the battle will be worth it well beyond Scotland, with the Welsh and Irish governments planning to roll out MUP in the near future and many others considering following suit.

Another recent national victory is the roll out of the Nutriscore colour-coded front-of-pack labelling scheme for packaged foods in France. Despite hefty opposition from the makers of unhealthy foods, the government has pushed ahead, showing that the new scheme is well understood by consumers and will lead to better informed and healthier choices. Food labelling is another long-running saga, where the usual ‘fear, uncertainty and doubt’ strategy was wholeheartedly deployed by the industry, who sought to obfuscate, confuse and undermine policy-makers along the way. The food lobby’s heavy investment to defeat traffic light labels in the Food Information to Consumers Regulation has turned out to be a pyrrhic victory. Many of the larger food companies are now teaming up, ironically, to call for a harmonised EU front-of-pack colour-coded labelling system, after realising that 28 national systems will end up costing more. See EPHA, BEUC and EHN’s comment on those plans here.

Staying with food, we have much more to look forward to in 2018, thanks to a Commission Communication published on the 29 November on the future of the Common Agricultural Policy. For the very first time, an official policy document emphasises that a food and agriculture policy should play a better role in health and nutrition. EPHA’s reaction reflects that we are immensely proud to have played in a key role in bringing health to the attention of agriculture policy makers and looking forward to fleshing this out in the CAP reform plans.

We’re seeing tangible progress in EPHA’s other key work areas too. November has become a key month in the health calendar, with World Antibiotic Awareness Week and European Antibiotic Awareness Day, which get better by the year. Awareness this year was unprecedented, thanks to the efforts of the WHO, national Ministries of Health and the EU.
Last but not least, and you can read much more below, our standing-room only Access to Medicines Forum on 21st November shows the huge appetite to discuss EU medicines policy change. Much to celebrate, but still much more to do. Here's to 2018!

Nina Renshaw
Secretary General

EPHA events

Tackling Pharmaceuticals in the Environment and Antimicrobial Resistance in Europe
Event organised by the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA),
Changing Markets Foundation and the European Environmental Bureau (EEB)

Hosted by Annie Schreijer-Pierik, MEP and Nicola Caputo, MEP

The event will cover pharmaceuticals in the environment, antibiotics production, consumption practices and the rise of AMR and the effects of pharmaceuticals in water on environment and ecology.

Agenda and more information soon


EPHA updates

Game Changers for Better and Affordable Medicines for Europe

21 November • Brussels

Over 120 participants attended the EPHA 2017 Universal Access and Affordable Medicines Forum organised under the auspices of the Bulgarian Ministry of Health. Visit the event website to experience the day's highlights and the online discussions. Read More »

EPHA 2017 Annual Conference

Recipes for Change: How to break the deadlock to tackle chronic diseases

Based on key messages from the 2017 Annual Conference, EPHA's recommendations for European governments, EU institutions, local authorities and civil society to tackle the growing burden from chronic diseases in Europe. Read More »

FRESHER Foresight and Modelling for European Health Policy and Regulation

Final Conference

The Fresher Project team presented its foresight and microsimulation findings at the final conference on 7 December.

The FRESHER team will be working on a final project report combining the foresight and micro-simulation findings. In the meantime, to find out more, download the conference briefing. To experience the event, download the conference storify or visit the photo gallery. We invite you to remain connected with FRESHER through our website, the Twitter account and our mailing list and to share your feedback through the channels available.

The FRESHER Graphic Explorer as presented by OECD, is now available for you to view the results of the project for yourself.

EPHA together with a number of other organisations have written to President Juncker calling for continued EU action on health supported by a robust EU Health Programme and the leadership of a dedicated Directorate in the European Commission.

230 organisations now support our joint 'EU: do more for Health!' campaign - how can you get involved?
  • Sign our petition on behalf of your organisation. Your organisation's name will be added to the list of 'Who is on board?' in alphabetical order with a link to your organisation's website
  • Encourage your member organisations to sign, and non-health organisations in your network
  • Share the petition on social media using #EU4Health!
Antimicrobial Resistance

Put an end to "Business As Usual" EPHA's statement for European Antibiotic Awareness Day 2017 Read More »

20 organisations call for ambitious EU action on pharmaceuticals in the environment Read More »

Call for urgent action to tackle environmental pollution at pharmaceutical factories supplying the UK NHS Read More »

Universal Access to Affordable Medicines
Open letter | In reaction to Council Conclusions“From the Interim Evaluation of Horizon 2020 towards the 9th Framework Programme” Read More »

Recommendations on a new model for the provision of scientific advice Read More »

Non-Communicable Diseases

Lancet Countdown and EPHA Policy Briefing

New EU policy briefing calls for further action to tackle the twin challenges of climate change and air pollution. Read More »

Roma Health and Early Childhood Development

EPHA's recommendations to the 11th European Platform for Roma Inclusion
on 27-28th November Read More »
Food, Drink and Agriculture

A new investigative report "Milking It" by The Changing Markets Foundation, Globalization Monitor, SumOfUs and EPHA.
Four of the leading manufacturers of milk formulas are unduly boosting profits by exploiting parents’ understandable desire to give the best possible nutrition to their babies. Read More »
Joint Statement I The time is ripe for simplified front-of-pack labelling Read More »

Statement | Future-proof food and farming must do better for health Read More »
Healthy Trade

Open Letter | To Chief Negotiators Ahead of the Completion of EU-Mercosur Trade Negotiations Read More »
Sustainable Development Goals
SDG Monitoring Report fails to illustrate how far the EU is from a sustainable future. EPHA contributed to the SDG Watch Europe response to the recent Eurostat report on the SDGs Read More>>

Members News

SHAAP celebrates successful UK Supreme Court decision on Minimum Unit Pricing of alcohol in Scotland. The legislation is expected to come into force on 1 May 2018. Read More »

Royal College of Physicians
New research on UK pollution in collaboration with Lancet Countdown Read More »

AGE Platform Europe
AGE calls for older people's concerns to be mainstreamed into the European Semester and active application of the European Pillar of Social Rights
Read More »

The 5th European Awareness Week on Alcohol-related Harm took place from 20-24 November. Read the press release. Download the new infographic on links between alcohol and cancer

Médecins du Monde

New Report | Les Laissés pour compte: L'Echec de la Couverture Santé Universelle en Europe
Read More »

European Pharmaceutical Students Association
Congratulations on winning third prize of the EU Health Award for NGOs promoting vaccination Read More »

European COPD Coalition/European Respiratory Society

To mark World COPD Day, Health Commissioner Andriukaitis joined ECC and ERS in the Berlaymont building in Brussels to highlight the need for earlier diagnostic tests Read More »

Press Release | European cities called on to sign the homeless bill of rights Read More »

Open Statement: Access to better and affordable medicines must be determined through transparent and publicly accountable processes
Read More »
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