The Riga Roadmap sets out an Action Plan for EU and National Policy Makers to Deliver Sustainable, Equitable and Participatory European Health Systems

(31st August 2015 – Brussels): European health stakeholders are pleased to announce the publication of the Riga Roadmap, an action plan to make EU health systems sustainable, equitable and participatory. The Roadmap is a result of the Universal Healthcare Conference, held in Riga, 28th-29th June, where the signatories of the Roadmap – the European Generic and Biosimilar medicines Association, EGA; the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations, EFPIA; the European Patients’ Forum, EPF; and the European Public Health Alliance, EPHA – joined forces to set out this plan for the future.

The signatories of the Riga Roadmap call on the Council of the European Union, as well as the European Council, European Parliament, European Commission, and the incoming Presidencies, for support in their efforts to implement the valuable objectives outlined in the Riga Roadmap. By providing a guide for action, the Riga Roadmap will support the successful implementation of four principles for European health – prevention, promotion, protection, and participation.


Objectives outlined in the Riga Roadmap include, among others:

  • Identify appropriate and smarter ways of preventing ill health and avoidable costs to the system – in both health and economic terms – by promoting health throughout the life course, for instance: by implementing cost-effective preventative measures such as policies to tackle antimicrobial resistance, smoke-free policies; vaccination; and introducing fiscal measures to reduce consumption of unhealthy foods, alcohol and tobacco, whilst making healthier foods more accessible and affordable;
  • Create frameworks for meaningful patient involvement across the innovation chain in collaboration with the relevant parts of the EU Commission and stakeholders, from priority-setting and research design to regulatory processes, cost-benefit assessments, pricing and reimbursement, and the re-use/collection of patient data, whilst respecting the need for data protection;
  • Include calls for systems and organisational innovation (e.g. integration of care, participatory medicine, patient involvement, culture change) under future EU programmes in order for healthcare to better meet patients’ needs;
  • Support the use of real world evidence, to better understand opportunities to advance patient care, while promoting efficient policies that balance support for innovation and the needed uptake for generic and biosimilar medicines to ensure access to medicines for all;
  • Implement a regular EU Health literacy survey across all EU Member States to collect comparative data, based on the validated EU Health Literacy Survey (HLS), and invest in health literacy interventions under various financial instruments (e.g. Health Programmes, Structural Funds).

A full copy of the Riga Roadmap is available here.

Richard Bergstrom, Director General of EFPIA, said: “There is a need for a long term political agenda at European level regarding efficient healthcare systems that focus on outcomes, supported by a variety of stakeholders. The Riga Roadmap underscores the continued efforts of the research-based pharmaceutical industry to forge partnership with stakeholders across Europe to support the sustainability of national health services and increase access to innovative medicines for the benefit of patients.”

Adrian van den Hoven, Director General of EGA, said: “As a firm believer in partnership to better address Universal Healthcare, the EGA looks forward to implementing the Action Plan of the Riga Roadmap with the co-signatories, the Luxembourg Presidency of the European Union, and the European Commission. The Action Plan outlines the importance of stimulating competition in the pharmaceutical sector to increase access to healthcare. We are joining forces to ensure that patients receive better access to diagnostics, to full information on treatment options and to high quality medicines for all.”

Anders Olauson, President of the European Patients’ Forum, said: ”To deliver high-quality care that is equitable and sustainable, health systems need to shift from a disease-centred to a person-centred approach, where self-management, community and specialist medical care and social care are integrated in personalised solutions centred on the needs of patients. This implies changes at all levels in how care is structured and delivered, and it implies the full participation of patients – not only in their own care, but also in policy-making, in co-designing services, and in research to develop new therapies that meet patients’ needs more effectively. EPF and our member patient organisations across the EU are committed to playing our part in driving this transformation.”

Nina Renshaw, Secretary General of the European Public Health Alliance, said: “Austerity policies are making our health services less sustainable and less accessible, at a time when Europe is facing an explosion of chronic diseases. We have joined together to call on European governments and the EU institutions to take action, particularly on prevention and health promotion. Investment in our health is a win on every level, including growth and jobs.”

About the Riga Roadmap & the Universal Healthcare Conference

The Riga Roadmap is the end result of the Universal Healthcare Conference, which was held under the auspices of the Latvian Presidency of the European Union this past June. The Conference drew together stakeholders from across the health community to identify strategies to promote the participation of citizens as a motive force for creating efficient, equitable health systems in Europe – and improving health for all.

The Roadmap builds on the Vilnius Declaration of November 2013, which called for action in the three areas of: investment in health promotion and disease prevention; ensuring universal access to high quality people-centred health services; and ensuring health systems are evidence-based and grounded in common European values of solidarity, high quality and equity of access, while focussing on cost-effectiveness, sustainability and good governance.

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