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EPHA: Concerns about Health Research Programme 2014-2015

Scientists, public health researchers and NGOs including the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) have reacted with grave concern in light of leaked copies of the EU Commission’s proposed Health Research Programme 2014-2015 (part of Horizon2020). They have raised questions regarding the preparation of this draft, given its failure to address the major personal, social, environmental and occupational risk factors of disease in favour of narrow research parameters focusing on biotechnology and personalised medicine.

EPHA states in a recent letter that this research programme fails to adequately address health inequalities, overlooking the fact that the current epidemic of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Europe is caused by factors such as poverty, the environment, inequality, and lack of affordable public transport, as well as factors such as diet, exercise, tobacco and alcohol.

If this Health Research Programme is to boost research on the sustainability and equity of European health care systems, on which Europe already spends nearly 10% GDP, the present draft falls short of addressing most of the factors that jeopardize them.

“The failure of the European Commission to specify the appropriate priorities for health research in this draft is a demonstration of the need to ensure the conversations regarding how European money is spent should not happen behind closed doors. Greater transparency would not only ensure that the huge gap between research and the health problems of the European population is narrowed, but would also go some way to improving citizens’ confidence in the European project,” said Monika Kosińska, Secretary General of EPHA.

The full letter is available here

Last updated on 8 October 2013

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