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[WATCH] Malta to launch bid for European Medicines Agency at end of EU28 health ministers’ meeting

Health ministers from all EU member states, Norway, Sweden and Lichtenstein are meeting in Malta to discuss the prevention of childhood obesity, structured co-operation between health systems and HIV/AIDS.

paul_cocks
Paul Cocks
20 March 2017, 9:11am
Chris Fearne will be hosting the informal meeting of EU health ministers
Chris Fearne will be hosting the informal meeting of EU health ministers

Malta’s Health Minister Chris Fearne is today expected to launch the country’s bid to host the European Medicines Agency, which must be relocated from London in view of the UK’s decision to leave the EU.

The agency is responsible for the scientific evaluation, supervision and safety monitoring of medicines developed by pharmaceutical companies for use in the EU.

EMA protects public and animal health in all EU member states, as well as the countries of the European Economic Area, by ensuring that all medicines available on the EU market are safe, effective and of high quality. It serves a market of over 500 million people living in the EU.

The minister is expected to launch Malta’s bid during a press conference at the end of a day-long informal meeting of all health ministers of the European Union.

They are meeting in in Malta today to discuss the prevention of childhood obesity, structured co-operation between health systems and HIV/AIDS.

Rapid increases in the prevalence of overweight and obesity in children of all ages is posing a burden on EU countries. The far-reaching consequences of childhood obesity run throughout the life course and results in a myriad of complications including cardiovascular disease, metabolic disease and cancer.

Childhood obesity is therefore a major public health concern and the Informal Meeting of Health Ministers calls upon health ministers’ concerted efforts to explore ways of halting the rise in childhood obesity.

Sustaining high quality health systems has become a key challenge for many policy makers seeking to reconcile fiscal sustainability targets with the provision of innovative and highly specialised technologies and services to citizens.

During Monday’s meeting, health ministers will discuss priority areas for enhanced voluntary cross-border collaboration in the procurement of health technologies for Rare Diseases and training of medical specialists. Appropriate mechanisms to facilitate joint work whilst respecting the principle of subsidiarity will be discussed.

In the last decade, despite impressive gains in reducing the number of AIDS diagnoses, the burden of HIV infection remains unacceptably high in Europe.  Each year about 30,000 people are newly diagnosed with HIV in the EU/EEA, and almost another 110,000 people are known to be infected in the broader European Region.  Health ministers will discuss how they can further scale up responses to fast track actions on HIV. 

The ministers from the EU28 will be joined by representatives from Sweden, Norway and Lichtenstein.

paul_cocks
Paul Cocks joined MaltaToday after having spent years working in newspapers with The Times...