The European Federation of Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis Associations (EFCCA) has recently published the findings from its project “Mapping of innovative medicines and devices in EFCCA member countries” in which 31 countries participated.
Why a Mapping project?National health systems and access to various treatments tend to be unequal in different European and non-European countries where EFCCA is represented, in particularly with regards to new, innovative treatments and devices for people with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). In some of these countries, there are no national registries of IBD patients available that would assist in obtaining relevant information. Therefore EFCCA wanted to find out the situation in each of the EFCCA member countries in terms of access to and availability of innovative treatments in order to highlight existing health inequalities in Europe and to develop the grounds for advocacy work aimed at equal access to treatments.
How we did it
Seven national IBD associations participated in a pilot phase to test an online survey which had been developed by an EFCCA working group coordinated by our Research and Project Coordinator Sanna Lönnfors. Once the online survey had been optimized the working group set out to collect data from all EFCCA members. Respondents were encouraged to cross-check the information provided with the national authorities in their country.
The findings of the mapping report clearly show discrepancies across Europe in terms of access to and availability of innovative treatments and devices. EFCCA and its national member associations will use this data to work with national and European policy makers to stress the importance of equal access to treatment as well as the need of accelerated access to new innovative therapies.
Since the issue of innovative medicines is a constantly changing environment EFCCA plans to create an observatory of innovative medicines and devices aimed at keeping information updated and accurate.
Benefits for patients
The findings of the report will add to our exchange of knowledge and give us a better understanding of European healthcare systems. The fact sheets for each country are a handy resource for someone considering working or studying in another country and will improve the mobility of people with IBD in European countries.
Ultimately, we believe that this work will facilitate and accelerate equal access to treatment in all countries and improve not only the quality of care but also the quality of life for people living with IBD.
To read the report go to: http://www.efcca.org/sites/default/files/Final%20Report%20Mapping%202018.pdf