21 June 2022, Brussels
Demographic changes and medical advances mean that, for the first time, four generations share a longer lifespan together. This societal evolution requires a revolutionary change to the way age and generations are perceived.
As we emerge from the past two years, questions arise around how we can better support cohesion between generations and intergenerational unity moving forward in a time of global uncertainty.
A panel of experts in the field of intergenerational solidarity, demographic change, and healthy ageing sat down together to discuss key insights gathered in a new report Unifying Generations: Building the Pathway to Intergenerational Solidarity, while addressing the new emerging pathway that needs to be built to highlight the value the third generation brings to society.
Early Bird: Ever closer Union for cancer patients? How to facilitate access to clinical trials across borders
7 February 2022, 8.30-9.00 CET
Participating in a clinical trial for a new medicine can be the ultimate hope for cancer patients. However, access to clinical trials across borders often remains challenging, even in the European Union: patients are vulnerable and often face high costs, language and cultural challenges, and patients and clinicians must deal with additional legal uncertainties.
The good news is that there is broad consensus amongst European institutions, researchers and their networks, and cancer patients that enabling patients’ access to clinical trials across borders is important. Also, and at just one year old, Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan presents an opportunity to facilitate cross-country clinical trials.
Considering the political will and momentum in Europe, what are practical challenges for patients and researchers to enable more cross-border participation? How can Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan facilitate better legislative, administrative, and regulatory frameworks? What are best practices that can help to find solutions fast enough for patients in need of access to treatments now?
15 December, 16-17.15 CET
Objective: The objective of this virtual event is to link EU CANCER PLAN and Beca Report with Country specific recommendations in order to reduce the Inequalities for (lung) cancer patients between and within Member States with focus on Eastern Europe.
Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan is one of the key pillars of the European Health Union project. For the successful implementation of the Plan, significant multi-level cooperation between institutions, member states, regional and local authorities as well as social partners and civil society organisations is required, in particular to bridge the important disparities in cancer prevention and access to cancer care between and within European countries. These inequalities have a deep impact on cancer incidence rates, survival and mortality across the EU. Strengthening EU cooperation to boost cancer research, innovation and new technologies in the fight against cancer and health inequalities is one of the underlying tools to ensure the highest standards of cancer care and equitable access for all Europeans, no matter where they live, and therefore one of the priorities of the BECA draft report.
The BECA draft report provides a wide range of concrete actions and tools in the fields of health and cancer research where the EU can complement and support national efforts to defeat cancer.
With the global temperatures on the rise and increasing climate instability, what will be the impact on health? How can society best respond now to future challenges that both address the economic realities of climate change and anticipate any demands that may be placed upon public health systems which are already under severe strain due to demographic shifts and aging populations.
Natural experiments of the impact of enforced rapid reduction in economic activity and reduced pollution are being seen in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Topics to be considered in the webinar include impacts of planned efforts to limit climate change on financial health and thus funding for healthcare; increasing need for emergency support for floods and associated epidemics; health effects of forced migration; and climate change, pollution and health. Reducing global warming via less pollution would reduce risks of communicable diseases and non- communicable diseases, including cancers. What evidence on health benefits of limiting climate change would lead to a change in policy?
26 October, 4pm UK
Innovative health technologies are often enthusiastically viewed as game changers however their costs are sharply criticised. Take, for example, CAR T-Cell therapy, which has a price of up to 500,000 euro per person. This raises many questions. For example, what is a fair price for a medicine? How should the price be related to the effectiveness or the number of end-users? What about the risks taken by the company to get the therapy to market? What about the risks taken by the end-user who use the medicine? And what about the risks taken by the payer? Is it unrealistic to think that there is a solution that would be fair to all stakeholders? And how can we ensure that the whole system is financially sustainable in the long term?
13 October, 2021
Timely access to optimal treatment has great promise for significantly improving outcomes for cancer patients. For instance, the early diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer provides a 99% chance of 5-year survival – yet in later stages, the odds drop to just 27%. As well, the length of time it takes for cancer treatments to reach patients is vitally important to European and national cancer policies, including Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan.
Current political debates around access cancer medicines often overlook the interplay of factors that cause suboptimal treatment rates. Ineligibility requirements, late diagnostic testing, treatment delays, poorly defined clinical guidelines, and resource constraints worsen a patient’s access to timely and adequate treatments.
How can we ensure that patients are diagnosed promptly and can access treatment in a timely manner? Why does reimbursement not always correlate to access to innovative treatments across Europe? How should we prioritize treatment rates in cancer plans?
28 September, 2021, 2-3pm CET
In Europe, 2.4 million patients undergo high-risk surgery every year and while surgery is safer today than ever – it is not totally risk free, Evidence suggest that death during surgery is now rare but the 30 days after the procedure are crucial – more than 1 in 100 adults (1.5%) die in the first 30 days following their operation. During high-risk surgery it is vital that blood continues to flow to organs. If blood pressure drops, and organs do not get enough blood, the higher the risk of severe postoperative complications, such as myocardial injury, acute kidney injury, and increased mortality, These drops in blood pressure are known as intraoperative hypotension (IOH) and are common – particularly in more senior patients. As little as a minute of IOH can increase the risk of patient harm or death and there is low awareness of this urgent issue among patients, clinicians, and policy makers. However, if IOH is effectively monitored and managed, many of these issues can be reduced or avoided. In addition, the need to improve perioperative care has been accentuated by the pandemic, which has put pressure on hospital capacity.
24 August 2021, 4pm UK
What do developments of smart hospitals and smart homes mean for patients, health professionals and policy makers? Better diagnostics? Better medicines? Greater efficiency? Nowadays use of the term artificial intelligence (AI) elicits all sorts of reactions, from enthusiasm to fear. How much are these reactions well-founded? One thing is clear: when it comes to health, AI can be applied in myriad ways, from all of the departments in a hospital to all corners of one’s home.
Given the patchy performance of public health approaches during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the benefit of hindsight, how can we better harness available data to improve decision making for improved societal health, cost management, and patient outcomes – better safety of medicines, control of long-term conditions and solutions for rare/orphan diseases?
27 July, 4pm UK
Within many countries the COVID—19 pandemic is entering a 3rd wave and vaccine confidence is a live issue. According to an August 2018 edition of the Economist, “Italy, France and Serbia … have lower child-vaccinations rates than Burundi, Rwanda and Senegal.” On a background of differences in regulatory approaches to COVID-19 vaccine approvals and statements critical of COVID-19 vaccine efficacy by national leaders, Belgium at one point in 2021 had received 200,000 units but had only been able to distribute 4% of their quantity due to a lack of acceptance in the general public. In contrast, the WHO notes preparedness to accept a COVID-19 vaccine of 65% in recent surveys in Less Developed Countries.
How do we ensure that valid information regarding vaccines is circulated and accepted at all levels of society both in developed and in less developed countries? How do we disentangle outright vaccine refusal from vaccine hesitancy?
14 April, 8.30-9.00 CET
Higher degrees of health literacy support patients at every stage of their journeys: they help to navigate decision-making and elevate patients to partners. If combined with health literate institutions, the coproduction of health can improve patient care and help reduce costs of unnecessary and inappropriate medical intervention.
Policy changes to increase health literacy have been notoriously difficult to implement, due also to a lack of evidence about the correlation between measures to increase health literacy and actual outcomes. Several initiatives have taken on the task to create such evidence. Most recently, Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan promises to make cancer literacy a priority for European policy makers, guidelines, and programs of action.
What do we know about the value of health literacy, where do we need to know more? How can we achieve higher degrees of health literacy? What lessons can we draw from the current pandemic? Join two outstanding experts for an Early Bird discussion on health literacy!