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Eucomed and the European Commission to address “most pressing Medtech issues”

8 October, 2009  

Today sees the end of Eucomed’s MedTech Forum – the largest gathering in Europe of its kind, bringing together over 400 thought leaders from policy and scientific communities as well as key players from the medical technology industry. The event saw key stakeholders and policy makers debating the most pressing medical technology issues that need immediate attention and action.

Many of the issues raised during the MedTech Forum will be further explored through the “Exploratory Process on the future of the Medical Device sector”, which was officially launched by DG Enterprise and Industry on 2 October of this year.

The European Commission invited the Medtech industry and other stakeholders such as patients, health professionals and insurers to discuss pressing healthcare and industry challenges under three areas: “Challenges and opportunities for public health and medical technology developments”, “Balance between the patient’s needs and financial stability” and “Competitiveness and innovation”. In short, the objective of this multi-stakeholder exercise is to identify potential work areas for the new European Commission.

“In an increasingly technologically enabled world, medical technology will continue to have a positive impact in ensuring healthcare systems generate better outcomes at lower total cost,” said Guy J Lebeau, Chairman, Eucomed Board.

“Effective and appropriate investment in medical technologies will be central to the delivery of sustainable healthcare that meets citizens’ expectations. To achieve this, appropriate incentives need to be introduced that will stimulate continuous innovation both on the supply and the healthcare delivery side.”

Various sessions took place during the three day event, focusing on myriad issues including the effect of Health Technology Assessment on the quality of healthcare with all experts agreeing that huge disparities exist and the lack of harmonisation across the European Union must be eradicated.

It was ultimately agreed that using medical technology is, in the longer term, a lot more cost-effective than a lifetime of taking various powerful and potent drugs.

The debate also arose that all stakeholders need to be involved in approving new technologies – this means patients, politicians, carers and governments – all working together to “reach a common goal”. Meanwhile, Mrs Giulia Del Brenna of the European Commission stated that Public Procurement is crucial to bringing political attention to the medical technology sector and said it can “very much help the situation”.

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