Health Action International (HAI) Europe is a non-profit, independent, European network of consumer groups, public interest NGOs, healthcare providers, academics and individuals.HAI Europe’s mission and goals follow the overarching global work programme set every 5 years.HAI Europe devises plans and strategies for medicines’ policy issues in Europe and acts as a regional centre.
HAI Europe’s mission is:
-to increase access to essential medicines = medicines for priority health needs are available, accessible and affordable for all;
-to improve the rational use of medicines = citizens receive medication appropriate to their clinical needs, in tailored doses, for an adequate period of time,at the lowest cost to them and their community.
HAI works to achieve these goals through research excellence and evidence-based advocacy.
Vision: Poverty and social injustice represent the greatest barriers to sustainable health and development. HAI works for just and equitable societies where people can participate in decisions affecting their health and well being, including the allocation of resources.
HAI`s goal is to increase access to essential medicines and improve their rational use through research excellence and evidence-based advocacy.
In order to improve access to essential medicines, HAI encourages medical innovation that meets real therapeutic needs (including neglected and rare diseases); advocates for EU competition policies driven by health outcomes, making generic medicines available and affordable to European citizens; monitors European trade agreements that adversely affect access to essential medicines in third (often low and middle income) countries; formulates evidence-based policy advice and shares expertise to build the capacity of civil society organisations(CSOs).
To encourage the rational use of medicines, HAI promotes the use of medicines that have tangible therapeutic advantages; are acceptably safe and cost-effective. HAI educates civil society about antimicrobial resistance, the unethical promotion of medicines and encourages health literacy by promoting access to independent medicines information. HAI improves European patient safety by supporting effective and robust medicines regulation. HAI encourages direct reporting of adverse reactions by patients to enhance health security.
In order to advance democracy and good governance in medicines policy decision making, HAI works to reduce industry secrecy and control over important clinical data; promotes the inclusion of CSOs in the medicines policy process; advocates for engagement between the public and stakeholders to exchange knowledge on health policy; works to assess the correlation between corporate-funded interest representatives and their political messages at European level.
HAI Europe`s advantage lies in our widely recognised expertise and credibility, and our ability to draw on input from staff, members and partners across Europe and beyond. HAI Europe`s role is to trigger action, to serve as a multiplier, and to mobilise and coordinate, which is realised through research, policy analysis, information sharing, capacity-building, and by acting as a watchdog, monitoring governments, the European Commission, European agencies and intergovernmental organisations involved in medicines policy.
HAI`s work programme is drafted every 5 years in consultation with the HAI network, advisory board and project staff. This programme informs the strategic plan, which is approved by the Global Secretariat and Foundation Board and implemented through sequential annual plans.
1. To increase Access to Essential Medicines
1.1: Improve EU trade policy coherence with EU commitments on health and development.
Activities: Establish an observatory to monitor the impact of EU trade agreements with third parties on access to medicines (such as India and regional communities in Asia and Latin American); awareness campaign on the intellectual property (IP) enforcement agenda and its impact into public health
Methods and means: Literature review and data collection; if appropriate, apply research methodology; impact assessment of IP provisions; develop briefing papers; public event.
1.2: Promote EU competition policies that support equitable access to medicines.
Activities: Awareness campaign on competition and the accessibility and affordability of generic medicines at national and EU levels; highlight the link between competition policy and medicines policy - innovation,regulation,drug promotion.
Methods and means: Develop briefing papers, statements; meet with policy-makers; generate media coverage.
1.3: Advance medical innovation policy to meet public health needs.
Activities: Promote alternative mechanisms for pharmaceutical innovation that separate research and development costs from costs to the consumer.
Methods and means: Identify expertise; collect and collate information; formulate a blueprint, develop briefing papers.
2. To encourage Rational Use of Medicines
2.1:Improve health and treatment literacy by promoting access to relevant medicines information among consumers and health professionals.
Activities: Scoping exercise to map independent sources of medicines information; promote independent medicines information; improve European Medicines Agency (EMA) documents aimed at the public.
Methods & means: Literature review and methodology development; design data collection tool;draft briefing papers with key partners; appraise EPAR summaries and package leaflets; attend and contribute to EMA Patients` and Consumer`s Working Party meetings.
2.2. Empower citizens by advocating for direct patient reporting of Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs).
Activities: Collate and disseminate information on spontaneous ADR reporting by patients and consumers.
Methods & means: Publish of briefing papers.
2.3. Foster evidence-based policy by providing high-level technical advice on medicine issues to policy-makers.
Activities: Produce a report on key issues in medicines policy - potential aspects to be included: innovation, regulation, competition, promotion, pharmacovigilance and transparency.
Methods & means: Publish report; deliver policy recommendations; meet with relevant stakeholders.
3.To support Democratisation of Medicines Policy
3.1: Empower independent citizen voices
Activities: One-day seminar - Resolving Conflict of Interest(s) in Medicine & Science; increase civil society involvement in monitoring and evaluation
Methods & means: Publish event memo; develop advocacy materials; facilitate local CSO membership of HAI for national advocacy and awareness-raising.
3.2: Promote transparency and impartiality as key principles of democratic decision making in health policy.
Activities: Collate and disseminate information about the EU Health Policy Forum as a case study; advocate for impartiality in cooperation with CSOs; monitor the impact of HAI`s corporate sponsorship research on patient and consumer perspectives at the EMA PCWP.
Methods & means: Collect data and publish report; develop factsheets; publish statements and open letters
For a detailed list of EXPECTED OUTCOMES,see page 27 of the work plan for 2011.
Ethical aspects: HAI`s programme applies and promotes ethical principles, and human rights,dignity and fundamental freedoms. HAI sources data from the public domain.