EHDS ACKNOWLEDGES LEVEL PLAYING FIELD FOR E-PHARMACIES
Brussels, 4 May 2022 – the European Association of E-Pharmacies (EAEP) welcomes the publication by the European Commission of the long-awaited European Health Data Space (EHDS), which is expected to contribute to tackling existing obstacles and enable the EU to make full use of the potential offered by a safe and secured exchange, use or reuse of health data, including e-prescriptions.
With the EHDS, part of the European Commission’s 2020 Digital Strategy and one of the pillars of a strong European Health Union, the EU aims to “provide a trusted setting for secure access to and processing of a wide range of health data”, ultimately improving healthcare delivery.
As the Association representing leading online pharmacies, the EAEP welcomes the focus on mandatory requirements for patients’ and healthcare providers’ access to health data, as well as provisions to ensure the interoperability of such data across Europe. In particular, the EAEP applauds the several mentions of online pharmacies across the text, as a clear political sign of the need to avoid discriminatory measures affecting e-pharmacies.
As detailed in the EAEP’s latest opinion piece on the topic, access to health data (e.g. e-prescriptions, Electronic Health Records, data from patient registries) has the potential to dramatically improve health care quality and delivery, enabling healthcare providers, such as online pharmacies, to better support patients with safer and more personalised care.
Commenting on the activities carried out in 2021, EAEP President, Stefan Feltens, and Vice-President, Walter Hess, state that “the EHDS represents a ground-breaking initiative, as it leverages the digital transformation to build stronger and more resilient health systems. To date, the sharing of health data has been very limited, due to uneven implementation and interpretation of the GDPR by Member States which created considerable legal uncertainties. We now need to unleash the benefits stemming from increased access to health data: healthcare providers will finally be connected, with the purpose of providing European patients with 360° healthcare support”.
The EAEP will continue to engage in a constructive debate with policymakers, with the aim to accelerate the development and spread of e-prescriptions and digital health services, such as telehealth. The success of the EHDS will require full commitment and actions from both Member States and EU, alongside strong cooperation with private stakeholders.
If you would like to find out more about our positions and activities, and specifically on the EHDS, please visit our website.
Profile: The European Association of E-Pharmacies (EAEP) represents the interests of e-pharmacies on the European continent. More than 20 million customers and patients across Europe are currently being supplied by our members and on top of that, our online pharmacies and their more than 4,000 employees are currently active in eleven European markets. Founded in 2001 as the EAMSP (European Association of Mail Service Pharmacies) and with its name change in February 2021, the EAEP voices its interests mainly with political stakeholders, regional and business actors, with the ultimate aim to improve the health of Europe’s citizens and strengthen the European healthcare system. E-Pharmacies have digitalised the classical pharmacy, and therefore act at the crossroads of digitalisation, healthcare, e-commerce and sustainability. As pioneers in providing digital solutions and our innovative and secure processes in dealing with health data, offering medicinal products and digital healthcare service while complying with national and EU law, the EAEP members continuously seek for ways to enhance the quality, safety and efficiency of healthcare for Europeans.