member states

Every family has a cancer story. If you have not had direct personal experience of cancer, the chances are that you know a loved one, a friend or a colleague who has. More than three million people in Europe are diagnosed with cancer every year, and 1.7 million cancer deaths are recorded annually. The death and illness caused by cancer exacts a heavy toll on individuals, communities and the economy. Finding smart ways to improve outcomes for all is essential. Cancer care has advanced dramatically in recent times but survival rates and outcomes still vary depending on where you live. This is because access to ‘multimodal care’ – including surgery, radiotherapy, medicines and palliative care – are excellent in some corners of Europe and dismal in others. This challenge is so urgent that The Lancet Oncology coordinated two Commissions to examine the economic case for stepping up investment in cancer surgery and access to radiotherapy, with an emphasis on the return on investment in terms of lives saved as well as economic benefits. Impact of radiotherapy Radiotherapy has come a long way in a relatively short time. The ability to reduce and destroy tumours with a targeted dose of radiation is a valuable element of cancer treatment. It is recommended for approximately 50% of new cancer patients. However, despite this, more than 90% of people in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) lack access to radiotherapy. A report by the Lancet Oncology Commission ‘Expanding global access to radiotherapy’ estimates that by 2035 12 million patients per year in LMICs would benefit from radiotherapy. This life-saving technology requires investment and long-term thinking. A reasonable question for governments, hospitals and insurers is whether the investment is worth it. a report by the Global Taskforce on Radiotherapy for Cancer Control (GTFRCC) , written by...
In my view, a good legislation needs to be clear and feasible. A regulation that breeds complexity doesn’t help anyone. The medical device discussions are coming to an end with the current trilogue discussion between the European Council, Parliament and Commission. While we welcome the general direction of this regulation, I worry about the unnecessary complexity that remains in some areas. As I said in my IVD regulation blogpost , we want this regulation to happen. However, it is key for all stakeholders to understand that the new regulation must be clear, feasible and applicable. The medical device industry is the backbone of our healthcare systems. Patients are the ones who benefit from these technologies. I want that this new regulation guarantee a combined vision that advocates for people’s rights to live a healthy life. And with the trilogue just starting, I invite our policymakers to be vigilant and attentive in evaluating the impact of the regulation. There are points in the medical device file that need to be reviewed, and we have highlighted them all in our medical device regulation position paper . And for my blogpost this month, I have decided to summarize a few key points to make my case: If scrutiny is added, then it needs to be workable The medical device industry undergoes a strict control process to ensure that the products we release are of high quality and are safe for patients. These quality controls are very important for all stakeholders, particularly for patients and also for us within the industry. Within the existing rules, there are officially approved entities called notified bodies that review and implement this process. We support strengthening the capacity of these notified bodies across Europe to provide an improved standard of checks. However, placing a duplicative system to further...
Editors’ Note: This blog is part 1 of a series on the MEAT value-based procurement project, an initiative that advocates towards a shift from price-based procurement of medical technology towards value-based procurement. It does so by defining a Most Economically Advantageous Tendering (MEAT) framework that includes the value of medical technologies, services and solutions in procurement processes across Europe. Read part 2 and part 3 . If you would like to contribute please contact the MedTech Views editorial team at info@medtechviews.eu . MedTech Europe has partnered with The Boston Consulting Group to define a new framework for most economically advantageous tendering in medtech. One of the major challenges we face as a society is growth in the demand for, and cost of, health care services; growth which continues despite myriad efforts by governments, health systems, and payers to contain it. At the same time, quality of care is highly variable. For example, if you were to undergo a radical prostatectomy even in the Netherlands, you would want to choose your hospital carefully. The worst performing hospitals there have nine times higher complication rates post-surgery than the best performing hospitals. This variation in outcomes is by no means an exception, and it highlights the lack of focus and lack of data on what patients care about most – outcomes. In their book "Redefining Health Care," Michael Porter and Elizabeth Teisberg define value in health care as "the health outcomes achieved per dollar spent", a definition that lays the foundation for value-based health care. This concept is increasingly being applied as the key paradigm by which to measure health delivery. It has the potential to align all stakeholders: patients, clinicians, policymakers, payers and industry around a common viewpoint, and is an especially attractive way to shift the thinking from considering cost and...
The European Parliament adopted another report this week focused on safety in healthcare highlighting the huge costs to healthcare systems, not to mention the enormous costs to patients, for preventable injuries, complications and infections. While I admire the Parliament’s attention to these issues, it is still clear that many of the calls for improved monitoring of patient safety and mitigating steps to avoid such events still fall on deaf ears at the national level. This is particularly relevant to the wound care community, given the stubborn incidence of pressure ulcers and surgical site infections which occur in healthcare facilities. Patient safety in wound care Safety is especially important in wound care where appropriate treatment can help prevent the development or prolongation of a wound as well as adverse outcomes such as infection or amputation. Advanced wound care treatments have a significant role to play in the prevention of patient safety events such as pressure ulcers and surgical site infections, particularly in hospital settings. When managed inappropriately these events can result in avoidable morbidity, extended hospital stays and even mortality. While the EU institutions recognize at a macro level that appropriate care and treatment can deliver improved efficiency – essentially improved outcomes at lower cost - at a national level the focus remains on cost containment. Driven by austerity measures and increasing demands, most healthcare decision makers revert to managing budgets on a short-term basis and look for cost savings, particularly in the procurement of medical supplies. This issue is worsened by an absence of accurate, routinely collected data on patient safety events across many EU health systems. Whilst some health systems, such as the English NHS, have implemented data collection on pressure ulcers and surgical site infections, this remains highly variable across member states. The absence of data means that...
From 15 to 21 June the European medtech industry will organise its first “European MedTech Week”, a series of activities and events to celebrate medical technology throughout Europe. This week will be an opportunity for every healthcare stakeholder to experience a whole range of medical technologies in the convenience of their own country. The medtech industry will showcase its innovativeness in unique and creative ways. So what can you do to make sure you benefit to the fullest from this week? Outside of the circle of healthcare stakeholders it is clear the role and value of medical technology is not yet well understood. Do the test yourself and ask your spouse, parents or friends about the value of our innovations. Chances are they won’t be able to come up with much more beyond ‘’They allow me to be healthy again following a medical intervention”. What’s clear from this is that the majority of people are unaware of the vastness of our industry, nor the value it brings at multiple levels. Lots of material on this very topic is already available widely on the internet (we have a great infographic here , moving stories here and several blogs here ). But together with our member companies and associations, we also want to share more about medical technology throughout Europe. What is the MedTech Week? Organised for the first time this year, the “European MedTech Week” is a series of events that will be organised throughout Europe from 15 until 21 June and which will put the value of medical technology front and centre. At European level, we will be coordinating the various events and initiatives being organised, and curating all material – photos, videos, … - on the event's website which will be launched shortly. But the real action will take...
Despite the overwhelming impact that wounds have on healthcare systems, many people are still unaware of the risks for developing wounds when entering a healthcare setting. In fact, 27-50 percent of acute hospital beds are likely to be occupied on any day by patients with a wound. Many of these patients will be at high risk of infection, which can result in extended hospital stays and for some, amputation. Yet, patients can be better protected against such risks by instituting evidenced based guidelines in healthcare settings that include multidisciplinary approaches to wound care treatment.