EUROPEAN REFERENCE NETWORKS – Current state of Play

17/10/2016 1384 Views
EUROPEAN REFERENCE NETWORKS – Current state of Play

The aim of European Reference Networks (ERNs) is to gather the best specialists from across Europe to work together to tackle complex or rare medical conditions that require highly specialised healthcare and a concentration of  Knowledge and resources. ERNs ensure more efficient and coordinated sharing of resources and expertise.

The first call for interest to establish a ERNs was launched in March 2016 and closed in July. In total, the European Commission received 24 applications in response to the call. The 24 applications involve a total of 370 hospitals and nearly 1000 highly specialised units. The Independent Assessment Body will now work to assess the ERN proposals, with the aim of delivering a final technical report by November 2016. The Board of Member States will then take the final decision in approving the ERNs.

The Board of Member States meets regularly to discuss the latest developments concerning ERNs. The minutes of its meeting held in March 2016 were recently published. In the meeting, the Board agreed that ERNs need guidelines to manage their relationship with industries. Conflict of interest goes much further than only industries, academia and research. The Board decided to set up a dedicated working group to tackle these issues and develop the guidelines.

At national level, most Member States are addressing the set-up of special procedures for the endorsement of individual healthcare providers willing to join an ERN proposal. A majority of Member States confirmed that procedures were already decided and in place.

Find out more:

European Commission press

Minutes of the meeting of the Board of Member States (March 2016)

Related articles