E-health developments and access to medicines were high on the agenda at an informal meeting of European health ministers in Vienna earlier this week. Representatives from European Union (EU) Member States met on September 10 and 11 to discuss a number of key health issues, including digital health and regulatory requirements for medicinal products.
At the meeting, the Austrian Federal Minister for Labour, Social Affairs, Health and Consumer Protection, Beate Hartinger-Klein emphasised the importance of digitalisation in the healthcare system. “Every single member of a health profession, whether in medicine or in nursing, is better supported by the use of digital health data: if you know more about the patients to be treated, you can offer them a better diagnosis, therapy or care,” Hartinger-Klein said.
As a result of the discussions, EU Member States agreed to work closely with the European Commission to develop a guideline for targeted Europe-wide promotion and investment programmes in the eHealth sector.
On the subject of access to medicines, Hartinger-Klein said some medicinal products are still only brought to market with a delay, if at all. She said measures need to be considered "that ensure supply security of medicinal products for all patients in the European Union”.