EU call to action on Allergy and Asthma

9 May 2017 330 Views

On 25 April, the European Parliament Interest Group on Allergy and Asthma (set up in 2015 and comprises of 17 MEPs), EEACI (European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology) and EFA (European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients’ Associations) launched a call to action on allergy and asthma.

The call aims to support stronger allergy and asthma policies and patients’ rights at EU and national level and is addressed to member states, EP (European Parliament), EC (European Commission) and civil society, patients and healthcare professionals. It calls for:

  • European strategies and programmes on allergy and asthma to be implemented in all member states;
  • greater funding for research to advance the understanding of allergy and asthma;
  • better prevention and diagnosis to achieve early detection and allow timely and effective treatment;
  • actions to address underlying triggers, such as air quality, food allergens and chemicals, and to improve the analysis of the root causes of allergic diseases;
  • strengthened work to pioneer individualised treatment and progress personalised medicine.

The initiative also asks the EC (European Commission) to improve cooperation and coordination between member states in the promotion of allergy and asthma programmes and to coordinate collection of public health indicators and better monitor trends on allergy and asthma. It also calls on member states to invest in allergy and asthma prevention and early detection, including awareness campaigns and training programmes for healthcare professionals.

It has been stated that allergy and asthma are amongst the most frequent chronic diseases in the EU and more than 150 million EU citizens (2 in 3) suffer from a chronic allergy. Currently, 70 million Europeans have asthma, around 100 million live with allergic rhinitis and 17 million with food allergy.

The call be endorsed by 30 September 2017 here.

A speaker from the EC stressed that collection of best practices, establishment of new approaches and drafting guidelines is something that the EC has been doing for the past 10-15 years but application of these approaches and guidelines has not been done sufficiently. Consequently, the EC has established a new group which will be working with member states on a list of best practices that are of interest together with implementation guidelines. He added, that the EC financed CHRODIS (Join Action on Chronic Diseases) which includes an IT platform for sending applications with best practices. It is still open and if the application is evaluated positively it will be presented to member states in the steering group on prevention and health promotion management.

In addition, the EC is currently drafting a statement on the employment of people with chronic diseases.

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