EDMA On the Move Against Tuberculosis
24 March 2010
On World Tuberculosis Day 2010, EDMA, the European Diagnostic Manufacturers Association, highlights the importance of innovative In Vitro Diagnostic (IVD) products for the success of global tuberculosis care and control efforts.
EDMA strongly supports this year’s World Tuberculosis Day campaign “Innovate to accelerate action: On the move against tuberculosis”. Tuberculosis (TB) is a worldwide health threat and a serious concern also for the European Union (EU). Although incidence is highest in developing countries, the importation of the disease from countries of the former Soviet Union and the emergence of drug-resistant MDR-TB strains are posing new challenges to European health systems. Out of the 14 countries most affected by MDR-TB, 12 are in the WHO European Region.1 In total, 12,000 deaths and almost 90,000 new TB-infections were reported in the EU in 2006.2
TB is the world’s second most common cause of death from an infectious agent after HIV, each disease speeding the other’s progress:3 A person with both HIV and TB is 5-6 times more likely to develop active TB than an HIV-negative person.4 Therefore, EDMA emphasises the need for systematic access to testing and early diagnosis as crucial factors to halting this dual epidemic.
This year, World Tuberculosis Day focuses on the need for innovative ways of fighting TB. The diagnostic tools used to detect the disease have barely evolved throughout the past century, and EDMA believes that the further development of easy-to-use tests for resource-poor settings is imperative. Therefore, EDMA calls upon the EU to increase funding for R&D of diagnostics which currently account for only 10% of global investments in TB research.5
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EDMA welcomes Parliament vote on new Commission
09 February 2010
EDMA, the European Diagnostic Manufacturers Association, welcomes this afternoon’s vote by the European Parliament on the new European Commission. The vote, which took place in Strasbourg, saw MEPs elect a Commissioner from each of the EU Member States with 488 votes in favour, 137 against and 72 abstentions. The work of the new Commission, under President José Manuel Barroso, will begin 10 February.
The “Barroso II” Commission holds a number of important changes for EDMA. The new Commissioner for Health and Consumers, John Dalli, is a former Maltese Minister and MP, with a background in health and social affairs. He impressed MEPs in his January hearing before the European Parliament’s Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, and showed confidence and familiarity with the topics he will face throughout his mandate. In his hearing, he made clear that his work would focus on the idea that “prevention is better than cure”.In previous Commissions, the work of the In Vitro Diagnostic industry came under the remit of the European Commissioner for Enterprise and Industry. With the restructuring of the Commission, EDMA will be affected by the move of the Cosmetics and Medical Devices Unit from DG Enterprise and Industry to DG Health and Consumers, and thus under the portfolio of Commissioner Dalli. Christine Tarrajat, EDMA Director General, commented that EDMA looks forward to a fruitful cooperation with the Commission over the next five years, especially in light of the recent outcome of the “Exploratory Process on the Future of the Medical Devices Sector”.
ECDC: First European reference laboratory network for tuberculosis launched
25 January 2010
The European Centre of Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) was established in 2005. It is an EU agency with aim to strengthen Europe’s defences against infectious diseases. It is seated in Stockholm, Sweden., ECDC’s mission is to identify, assess and communicate current and emerging threats to human health posed by infectious diseases. In order to achieve this mission, ECDC works in partnership with national health protection bodies across Europe to strengthen and develop continent-wide disease surveillance and early warning systems. By working with experts throughout Europe, ECDC pools Europe’s health knowledge, so as to develop authoritative scientific opinions about the risks posed by current and emerging infectious diseases ECDC hosted the launch of the European Reference Laboratory Network for Tuberculosis (ERLN-TB) on 25 January 2010 at its first annual meeting in Stockholm, Sweden. Reference laboratories representatives from EU/EEA Member States and candidate countries will engage in an unprecedented initiative in the field of tuberculosis control in the EU. Recognizing laboratory function as one of the pillars of optimal tuberculosis control, the network will aim at strengthening the diagnosis of the disease at EU level, in line with the objectives of the Framework action plan to fight tuberculosis in the European Union. Under ECDC coordination, the ERLN-TB will pursue concerted action in capacity building, quality assurance, scientific advice and support.
The added value of a European Union tuberculosis reference laboratory network (Eurosurveillance, Volume 13, Issue 12, 18 March 2008)