Eucomed, the European Medical Technology Industry Association, has today published a set of 10 key recommendations to boost medical technology innovation in the European Union.
Healthcare in Europe is currently a major societal challenge. The EU must innovate in order to meet patients’ needs and to use the available resources more efficiently. More effective treatments lead to reduced hospital stays, a better prognosis for the patient and a faster return to a normal contribution to society.
“Innovation is critical for the health of citizens, the economy, employment and, indeed, the overall well-being of society. However, the European Union is still being surpassed by the US and Japan in terms of investment in medical technology R&D and in terms of patient access to new treatments and technologies”, commented Maurice Wagner, Director General of Eucomed.
In order to improve the innovation environment for medical technology in the European Union and, ultimately, the well-being of patients, Eucomed has made the following 10 key recommendations:
- The establishment of an autonomous network of "Medical Technology Innovation Centres" in Member States, coordinated centrally.
- Innovation- (and patient-) friendly regulation in the medical technology sector
- Coherent Healthcare Technology Assessment (HTA) schemes to provide patients with access to new medical technology. HTA schemes are not uniform and do not reflect new technologies sufficiently. Furthermore, they vary considerably in their design and application in the different Member States.
- Making Europe attractive to the best researchers and innovators
- European governance that takes account of the specific needs of medical technology
- Structuring of EU Framework Programmes to support Small to Medium Medical Enterprises (SMEs)
- Securing access to Framework Programme projects for medical technology innovation
- Securing intellectual property right protection and creating an EU Community Patent
- Defining and supporting educational needs
- Establishing a system of financing and improvement of capital conditions for medical technology innovation (especially for SMEs) and better protecting the interests of innovators.
Eucomed has welcomed the proposal for the 7th Framework Programme for Research 2007-2013 published on 6 April, in which the Commission has set as a key objective the improvement of the European citizens’ health. The package of 10 recommendations listed above is designed to help reach this objective.
The 10 key recommendations are developed in detail in the Eucomed Position Paper concerning the EC Communication "Science and Technology, the key to Europe's future - Guidelines for future European Union policy to support research" – Click here to view this document.