23 January 2018 - 13:00 - 14:00
Cristian-Silviu Bușoi , Francesca Colombo, Jean Lang, Wolfgang Philipp, Tamsin Rose

This event is part of Friends of Europe’s Health and Wellbeing programme, which focuses on how the obstacles of vested interests and short-term political thinking can be overcome in the difficult transition to new healthcare models and systems – and how these new systems can be financed.

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Coping with antimicrobial resistance

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Health is dear to the hearts of citizens, ranking highly in Eurobarometer surveys of personal priorities. Yet, demographic shifts, greater demand and ongoing financial restrictions are putting European health systems under extreme pressure. Furthermore, while Europeans are living longer, health inequalities are dramatic and increasing.

12.30 - 13.00

Welcome lunch and registration of participants


Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a growing global health emergency that threatens to undermine the medical progress of the past century. 50,000 people die every year in the European Union and the United States from antimicrobial resistant infections. The Review on Antimicrobial Resistance chaired by Jim O’Neill projected that if AMR cannot be addressed by 2050, ten million people would die each year, combined with a reduction in global GDP of 2% to 3.5% and a total cost of 100 trillion dollars.

The EU has coordinated efforts to curb misuse of antibiotics, but in 2015 resistance to last-line antibiotics continued to increase. In parts of Europe, there are patients in intensive care, haematology and transplant units with infections for which there is no effective treatment available. Some member states have managed to reduce antibiotic use in hospitals, but antibiotic consumption increased in others.

The ‘One Health Action Plan’ adopted by the European Commission in June 2017 provides a scope for EU action against AMR, but much still needs to be done to establish the EU as a global leader in the field. To shape the global agenda, the EU will need to deliver on its commitments and act within its mandate to add value to member states’ actions.

  • What are the scientific challenges to developing new antibiotics?
  • How could the EU remove the roadblocks to innovation and accelerate progress to manage antibiotics better?
  • Given the important relationship for AMR between trade, animals in agriculture and human health, how can all relevant EU departments and agencies be mobilised to tackle AMR?
  • How do we change cultural expectations so there is less demand for antibiotics, fewer prescriptions by doctors and greater adherence by patients?

Speakers include:
Cristian-Silviu Busoi, Member of the European Parliament Committee on Industry, Research and Energy
Francesca Colombo, Head of the OECD Health Division
Jean Lang, Associate Vice President at Sanofi Pasteur Research & Development
Wolfgang Philipp, Head of Unit Crisis management and preparedness in health, European Commission Directorate General for Health and Food Safety


End of debate

Cristian-Silviu Bușoi
Member of the European Parliament Committee on Industry, Research and Energy
Cristian-Silviu Bușoi is a Romanian physician and politician. With a profound expertise on health issues, he won a seat in the Romanian Chamber of Deputies, where he sat on the health and family committee. He was also named head of Romania's National Health Insurance Fund. After becoming a Member of the European Parliament, Bușoi was not only a Member of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety but also served as the Parliament's EPP group shadow rapporteur on the report ‘Safer Healthcare in Europe: Improving Patient Safety and Fighting AMR’.
Francesca Colombo
Head of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Health Division
Francesca Colombo is responsible for OECD’s work on health, which aims at providing internationally comparable data on health systems and applying economic analysis to health policies, advising citizens, stakeholders and policymakers on how to respond to demands for more and better healthcare. Colombo supports the strategic orientations of the Secretary-General and their implementation in the area of health. She had led numerous projects on the performance of health systems in OECD countries, covering a wide range of topics, including quality of health care policies and health financing. 
Jean Lang
Associate Vice President at Sanofi Pasteur Research & Development
Jean Lang is the Associate Vice President at Sanofi Pasteur Research and Development, the vaccines division of the largest company in the world devoted entirely to human vaccines. He joined Sanofi Pasteur Research and Development in 1991 and has since then conducted research in Europe, US, Latin America and Asia. He collaborated, amongst others, with the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Lang authored or co-authored around 159 scientific peer-reviewed papers and is also currently a Fellow of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene as well as an accredited expert for the European Commission.
Wolfgang Philipp
Head of Unit Crisis management and preparedness in health, European Commission Directorate General for Health and Food Safety
Wolfgang Philipp is an experienced scientist and policy-maker. He has worked for over 15 years for the European Commission on health-related issues such as HIV/AIDS prevention, chronic and rare diseases. Philipp is currently, after a short period as deputy, the Acting Head of the Unit for crisis management and preparedness in health at the European Commission Directorate General for Health and Food Safety.
Tamsin Rose
Senior Fellow
Tamsin Rose is Senior Fellow at Friends of Europe. Having studied international relations, she has 25 years of experience working across the European continent from Ireland to Mongolia. A natural communicator, Tamsin has been a radio reporter, worked on press for the EU Delegation in Moscow and is currently a member of the external speaker team for the European Commission Directorate General for Communication, describing how the EU works and key policies to visitor groups from around the world. Since 2002 she has specialised in public health and public participation issues, serving as Secretary General of the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA), and providing strategic advice for health groups on how to engage successfully with the EU.

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Sarah Bentz, Programme Manager
Tel. +32 2 893 98 23

This event is exclusively for Friends of Europe’s members, EU institution representatives and media.
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