Several European healthcare organisations have called for action across the EU to improve patient adherence for medicines as part of a debate held at the European Parliament in Brussels.
The groups, consisting of the European Patients' Forum (EPF), the Standing Committee Of European Doctors (CPME), Pharmaceutical Group of the European Union (PGEU) and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), said a 'concrete EU-level action' was needed to tackle the problem of adherence, with around 194,500 deaths attributed to misdose and non-adherence in the region each year.
Better adherence was also necessary to contribute to better health outcomes and support sustainable healthcare systems in times of financial constraints according to Richard Bergström, director general of EFPIA.
Specific demands included making adherence a priority for the future EU Health Programme, as well as being a major part of the Steering Group of the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing and the Research Framework Programmes
The creation of information and awareness campaigns targeted to patients and the public as part of an EU strategy for health literacy and information to patients was also recommended.
A coordinated, multi-stakeholder approach that involved the patients themselves, as well as their carers/families, healthcare professionals, industry, and the public, was advocated as an example of best practice to improve patient safety and develop personalised care during the debate.
Greater communication between doctors and patients was key according to Dr Roland Lemye, vice-president of CPM. The use of digital technology and eHealth tools was recommended as a fast, effective method to achieve this by Dr Lemy.
MEP Cristian Silviu Busoi who acted as chair, commented that the Steering Group of the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing recognised the importance of improving adherence, and would discuss the necessary steps to address the issue.
He said: “The partnership will be an excellent opportunity to explore potential innovative solutions that can support individual patients and carers, improve data sharing and communication between health professionals, and improve the integration of care.”