The need for an EU Action Plan for better cardiovascular health

  • Posted on 27.05.2021

The need for an EU Action Plan for better cardiovascular health


Jean-Luc Lemercier

Corporate Vice President Edwards Lifesciences, EMEA, Canada, Latin America and JAPAC & Chair of the Cardiovascular Sector Group of MedTech Europe


Did you know that every day, some 5,000 people die from cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), amounting to 1.8 million deaths every year? This, unfortunately, makes cardiovascular disease – including heart failure, stroke-related atrial fibrillation, heart valve disease and coronary heart disease – the number one killer in Europe. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has radically changed the way we live, work, and care for patients. Whilst we are still in the midst of overcoming the challenges posed by the pandemic, one uncomfortable truth is becoming clear: people affected by cardiovascular disease have been hit the hardest by COVID-19 – whether it was by discontinuity of care or because cardiovascular disease constitutes the leading co-morbidity in COVID-19 deaths (65%). In addition, mounting evidence shows that COVID-19 sufferers can develop heart complications further on. 

There is reason enough to act to improve the cardiovascular health of our citizens. 

After working in MedTech for many years, I can say that the necessary technologies and innovations often already exist. Our innovative industry provides concrete solutions to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease on individuals, families, carers, and the wider economy. These innovations, which span the full spectrum of patient care from diagnosis to cure, save lives and add tremendous value to European society.

What we lack is the comprehensive policy framework that enables better collaboration between stakeholders to drive solutions and innovations towards the patients that need them.

Today, the EU has a unique opportunity to make a difference for people with cardiovascular disease, thanks to the priority given to healthcare on the citizens’ agenda and the unprecedented funding provided by the EU4Health, Horizon Europe and Next Generation Recovery funds.

By implementing an EU Action Plan with the right framework and incentives, we can bring together EU players, Member States and key stakeholders to save and improve the lives of millions of people. 

Everyone has a role to play in tackling the burden of cardiovascular disease. MedTech Europe’s Roadmap calling for an EU Action Plan exemplifies what role our industry can play. It proposes the policy actions needed to reduce the burden throughout the patient pathway; from research and prevention to early detection and access to treatment and care. It all leads ultimately to a longer and better quality of life. 

Let’s rise up to this challenge and, together, beat the number one killer in Europe: cardiovascular disease.

#Act4Heart to #BeatCVD


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