Europe could get better value from the money, technology and expertise invested in healthcare, a Friends of Europe event co-organised by Celgene and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) heard on 2 May.
A lack of coordination between authorities, hospitals and insurers is holding back progress and wasting resources, said participants at the debate.
There are similar communication challenges among healthcare professionals. “Collaboration can be as cheap as an email,” said Bettina Ryll, Founder of the Melanoma Patient Network Europe and current Chair of the Patient Advocates Working Group of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO). “We have the resources,” she said.
According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), up to one-fifth of health spending is wasted on unnecessary, over-expensive or corrupt practices. The European Commission has tried to encourage more collaboration through the European Reference Networks, virtual advisory panels for complex or rare diseases.
But health systems still don't put patients first, participants agreed.
“Part of the challenge is walking in each other’s shoes,” said Lee Heeson, President of Worldwide Markets, Inflammation & Immunology at Celgene. “We often have conflicting performance indicators or incentives within each of our relevant areas of expertise.”
The use of big data, biotech and other new technologies are key to aiding collaboration, said Nathalie Moll, Director-General of EFPIA. “What we do now is not good enough,” she said. “We have no choice but to change.”
Should you not be able to view the gallery, please click here.