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Issue 123, 13 February 2014


Your gateway to trustworthy information on public health

The Falsified Medicines Directive: improving the safety of EU medicines

By Paola Testori Coggi, Director General for Health and Consumers, European Commission

By Paola Testori Coggi, Director General for Health and Consumers, European Commission

European citizens are entitled to medicines that are safe, of high quality and effective. Falsified medicines may contain ingredients of low quality or in the wrong dosage – either too high or too low – and therefore pose a major health threat to EU citizens. The Falsified Medicines Directive – which entered into force on 2 January 2013 – makes medicines safer by providing measures to verify their authenticity and improve the quality of their ingredients. The main novelties are three:

First, prescription medicines will need to bear, on their outer packaging, a pack-specific number and an anti- [...]

In this edition

News from the EU » 
EU Press Releases » 
Forthcoming events » 
Reporting from across Europe » 
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Read the full focus of this edition  »

Also in this focus

Health Programme Projects »

European Patients' Forum works to put patients in the centre of EU health programmes

EU Health Prize for Journalists – Articles »

'Buying medicines online – a game of Russian roulette', by Yiannis Devetzoglou, national winner 2011 for Greece

'Are medicines with no marketing authorisation illegal?', by Pauline Michel, national winner 2012 for France


News from the EU 

Electromagnetic fields and health effects: public consultation launched on preliminary opinion  »

The European Commission and Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR) has just launched a public consultation on 'Potential health effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF)': comments may be made online until 16 April 2014.

Patient Safety: New EU rapid alert platform for human blood and blood components  »

A new platform launched by the European Commission will improve the safety of patients who undergo blood transfusions.

The European Commission (DEVCO) opens a call for proposals "Supporting public health institutes" (EUR 23 million)  »

The Call aims at reinforcing public health institutes in low-income countries, in the area of public health decision and policy-making. Partnership with public health institutes and stakeholders is encouraged. Deadline for the concept note submission is 17 March 2014.

EU takes action against cancer  »

On the occasion of World Cancer Day, the European Commission presents 10 little known facts about EU action in the field of cancer.

Joint Action on Reducing Alcohol Related Harm (RARHA) launched  »

RARHA, funded by the European Union, is a newly-launched 3-year action to support Member States to move forward on common priorities in line with the EU Alcohol Strategy and strengthen Member States’ capacity to reduce the harm associated with alcohol.

EU's 'Healthy Ageing Supported by Internet and Community' (HASIC) project begins  »

The Healthy Ageing Supported by Internet and Community (HASIC) project has just begun and will run for 30 months with the aim of encouraging elderly people (65+) to adopt a healthy and active lifestyle.

The European Network for Action on Aging and Physical Activity (EUNAAPA) receives support from the EU Health Programme  »

The EUNAAPA network aims to further expand its work to improve the health, wellbeing and independence of older people throughout Europe by promoting physical activity.

Public consultation: Revision of European Commission Guidelines on Good Manufacturing Practice for Medicinal Products  »

Stakeholders are invited to send their comments by 31 May 2014.

EU Press Releases 

Eat well – feel good: The European Commission reinforces school milk and fruit schemes  »

The European Commission proposes to combine two separate school schemes under one campaign to 'Eat well – feel good' to help ensure that children develop healthy eating habits.

Forthcoming events 

Public hearing and workshop on Electromagnetic fields and health effects (Athens, 27 and 28 March 2014)  »

A public hearing and a workshop will address the scientific evidence related to the Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR) preliminary opinion on the potential health effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields.

Greek Presidency Conference: "Nutrition and Physical Activity, from childhood to old age: Challenges and opportunities" (Athens 25-26 February 2014)  »

A Greek Presidency Conference will look at nutrition and physical activity as health preventive measures throughout the lifespan, as well as examine policies to tackle diet-related NCDS, public health issues, and scientific considerations for formulating EU strategies.

Reporting from across Europe 

France launches updated plan in fight against cancer  [France]  »

France has just launched its 2014-2019 national plan against cancer, placing the emphasis on prevention and screening and on addressing social imbalances in healthcare.

Italy raises awareness on home safety  [Italy]  »

Italy encourages the public to take precautions to avoid domestic accidents: there are 2.8 million such accidents a year in Italy, most often involving women.

Fun new interactive site helps kids adopt healthy habits  [Spain]  »

The Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality invites kids to visit a virtual amusement park, where they can learn about nutrition, exercise and smart choices.

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