EAEP welcomes European Commision’s proposal to set up an open, secure and reliable European Health Data Space.
Brussels, 26 July 2021 – The European Association of E-Pharmacies (EAEP), which represents Europe’s leading online pharmacies, supports enabling the free, controlled flow of primary health data with the aim of keeping Europeans healthy. The EAEP therefore welcomes the European Commission’s proposal to set up a legal framework for the European Health Data Space (EHDS) (EHDS). A common EHDS will promote better exchange and access to different types of health data such as electronic health records or data from patient registries. It will support healthcare delivery as well as cross-border health research.
“The EAEP believes that the use of digital health data has enormous potential to improve healthcare for every European citizen. The fight against rare diseases and the improvement of drug therapy safety in particular require a broad database, which can only be created through cooperation among all EU member states,” says Walter Hess, President of the EAEP.
“Sharing health data across Europe is the logical next step in an increasingly digitised world and healthcare sector. By leveraging data sharing, e-pharmacies would be better placed to give patients tailormade advice and the care they need”, explains Stefan Feltens, Vice-President of the EAEP.
The successful rollout of such a framework is, according to the EAEP, dependent on a couple of elements that have been set out in its position paper on the European Commission’s public consultation to the EHDS:
- To avoid legal fragmentation, the EHDS should fit well within the broader EU regulatory framework, complementary to current developments regarding the setup of the European Digital Identity, the Data Act, and the Data Governance Act.
- Given the sensitivity of health data, every citizen should have the right to decide about the use of his or her data. The access to the data should follow the principles of the General Data Protection Regulation.
- The growing take-up of telehealth, which has increased due to COVID-19, shows that telehealth is a secure and reliable way of interacting with patients. Its future success also depends on solid investments in appropriate digital skills to learn how to safely use telehealth services. Furthermore, the facilitation of reimbursement of all telehealth services across the EU should be made available.
- Citizens should have the possibility to transfer the data from m-health and tele-health to their electronic health records. In addition, healthcare professionals can request the transfer of data, but access to patients’ digital health records and other related data should be safeguarded by a control mechanism as to how and at which level data could potentially be shared.
As a central and integral player in making the EHDS a success, the EAEP welcomes the exchange of ideas with other organisations and the EU institutions.
Profile: The European Association of E-Pharmacies (EAEP) represents the interests of its members and protects the needs of its members’ patients and customers. It informs the public in a transparent manner, enters into a dialogue with politics, the economy and market partners, and contributes its concepts to strengthen the European health sector and to enable cost reductions through digitisation.
The members of the EAEP are pioneers in digital solutions designed to continuously improve the quality, safety and efficiency of healthcare for people across Europe. The association bundles the voices of its members in position papers and promotes interaction and knowledge exchange. You can find more information about the EAEP on the EAEP website.
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