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Press Release: EAPM heads to Romania for personalised medicine Outreach programme

Publication date: 14.06.2016

Brussels, June 14th: High-level stakeholders and politicians involved in personalised medicine from across Romania are set to meet in Bucharest to move forward with this innovative form of medical intervention tailored to the specific needs of individual patients.

The first in a series of meetings on Thursday 16 June will see the official kick-off event to launch the Romanian Alliance for Personalised Medicine (RAPM).

The meeting will be organised by the umbrella organisation the European Alliance for Personalised Medicine (EAPM) as part of its SMART Outreach programme.

SMART stands for Smaller Member states And Regions Together and aims to see personalised medi-cine working on the ground, in the nations and regions.

Successful Outreach events have already taken place in Poland, Bulgaria and Italy, and all worked towards formulating a patient-centred strategy involving national decision makers and regulators in the arena of public health.

This is to help facilitate the EU and Member States in contributing to integrating personalised medicine into clinical practice while enabling much-greater access for patients.

Although Brussels-based – which helps to better engage with the European Commission, EU perma-nent representations and the European Parliament in the ‘Capital of Europe’ – EAPM aims to build upon and expand its work with the multi-stakeholder groups, and nations, that form its membership.

More Outreach events are planned for the rest of 2016 and beyond.

Speaking ahead of the Bucharest event, EAPM’s executive director Denis Horgan said: “If we are to properly introduce personalised medicine into health care systems across Member States, it is impor-tant that a bottom-up strategy is in place to match the EU’s top-down legislation. Being on the ground also helps us to engage more effectively with patients across the EU.”

Horgan was backed by Romanian MEP Cristian-Silviu Busoi who said: “Taking EAPM’s message to the heart of my country is a vital step forward for personalised medicine, and the formation of the RAPM can only help to integrate this exciting new science-based form of treatment for patients in Ro-mania.”

And Marius Geanta, the co-founder of the Center for Innovation in Medicine, who will speak on the subject, ‘Next Steps: Driving personalised medicine through multi-stakeholder partnership,’ said: “The meeting will feature high-level speakers from government, science, academia and more and we hope that this first gathering will kick-start the much-needed process of providing access to personalised medicine to every Romanian citizen.”

Expected outcomes  

It is necessary to formulate a patient-centred strategy involving national decision makers and regula-tors in the arena of public health, to enable the EU and Member States to contribute to integrating per-sonalised medicine into clinical practice while enabling much-greater access for patients. 

In order to provide a clear focus and to devote sufficient space to analysis, discussions during the conference will concentrate on how Romania can contribute to this at the EU level and how this can be enhanced at the national level:

  • To assess and address obstacles to the integration of personalised medicine into Europe’s healthcare systems
  • To identify best practices and their added value 
  • To outline the potential benefits of personalised medicine on public health and its impact on poli-cymaking in the EU
  • The main outcome will feed into activity that will support this action at the national level.

Attendees will be drawn from key stakeholders whose interaction will create a cross-sectoral, highly relevant and dynamic discussion forum.

Among them will be: Diana Pćun, health adviser to the Romanian President;  Raul Pćtrașcu, health adviser to the Romanian Prime MinisterIoanel Sinescu, full member of the Romanian Academy, President Romanian Association of Urology, Rector of Medical University Bucharest, and Daniel Coriu, vice-president of the Romanian Society of Haematology.

These will be joined by several more speakers who believe that this exciting new health philosophy will bring about better treatment (including preventative) while significantly lowering the chances of unde-sirable adverse reactions.

At the same time, personalised medicine will foster a more efficient and cost-effective healthcare sys-tem.

It has always been EAPM’s mantra that personalised medicine starts with the patient. Its genetics-based diagnoses and treatments have huge potential for improving the health of many patients and ensuring that health systems are more efficient and transparent.

It is a fact that health technology, health information and genomics are constantly evolving and have changed many aspects of patient care.

Yet, despite this, the integration of personalised medicine into clinical practice and daily care is proving difficult given the many barriers and challenges to timely access to targeted healthcare that still exist today. 

If personalised medicine is to be in line with the EU and Romanian principle of universal and equal ac-cess to high quality healthcare, then clearly it must be made available to many more citizens than it is now. 

In times of budgetary constraints, facilitating better-targeted and more cost-efficient treatment is in line with the Europe 2020 strategy and the aims of the EU’s Juncker Commission. 

By taking stock of where we are in Europe and Romania in terms of access to personalised medicine, by acknowledging challenges needed to be overcome, and by highlighting opportunities to accelerate progress, the scene for further action can be set.

Author: Denis Horgan
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