2022 EAEP event highlights need to boost digital health in Europe
Brussels, 2 November 2022 – the European Association of E-Pharmacies (EAEP) hosted is first in-person event in Brussels on Thursday 27 October 2022. On the occasion, EU policymakers, industry stakeholders and civil society representatives, discussed opportunities and existing hurdles to digital health solutions.
The event, titled “The next step for a real European Health Union - Delivering patient care through digital solutions”, provided a forum for discussion on healthcare policy in Europe, with a focus on the European Health Union and the European Health Data Space (EHDS).
The panellists, Mr Andrzej Rys (Principal Scientific Adviser at the European Commission’s DG SANTE), Mrs Elke Grooten (Head of External Affairs at Novartis / EFPIA), Mr Andy Bleaden (Community Director at ECHAlliance), and Mr Fabio de Concilio (CEO at Farmacosmo) highlighted among others the importance of (a) access to interoperable primary and secondary health data; (b) raising awareness and trust among patients of the benefits of digital solutions in healthcare; (c) integrating digital approaches and making different healthcare systems better connected; and (d) investing in training and upskilling for professionals and patients. Among the key hurdles to the development of a truly digitalised healthcare sector, panellists primarily identified fragmented national frameworks which lead to an overall lack of patients’, professionals’, and providers’ access to (digital) health data.
A video message from MEP Tomislav Sokol (European People’s Party, Croatia), rapporteur on the EHDS in the European Parliament, pointed at a key next step for the establishment of a real European Health Union: creating a sound single market for digital health data and services, which is “of key importance to patients and healthcare providers as online pharmacies”.
As the body representing the online pharmacy sector in Europe, the EAEP committed to acting as the eHealth think tank for these and related topics, with a view to advancing positive legislative frameworks able to reflect both the latest innovative digital solutions in healthcare and needed safeguards for patients.
EAEP President, Stefan Feltens, says “**as the EAEP, our goal is to contribute to the discussions on how to improve the health of Europe’s citizens and strengthen the European healthcare system by means of digitalisation, towards achieving a true European Health Union. Today’s event is aimed at showcasing how digital solutions have and can further empower citizens to benefit from high-quality health care and to live healthy lives”.
EAEP Vice-President, Walter Hess, says “the digital transformation of healthcare systems is a crucial step towards achieving better healthcare outcomes for patients. E-pharmacies play an important role in this process: we support the ambition of establishing a true single market for digital health services, with the ultimate goal to seize the opportunities ahead for patients, healthcare professionals and pharmacies stemming from increased access to health data”.
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 almost 5,000 employees are currently active in eleven European markets. 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