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A report of Nora Laubstein on the 13th Vincenz Priessnitz conference at 5th - 7th October in Jesenik, Czech Republic (ANME + DNB)

The main issue of this year’s conference was defined by the operators, the Spolecnost (association) Vincenze Priessnitze z.s. and the Priessnitz Spa AG (Priessnitzovy lecebne lazne a.s.) as follows: „The history and present of the spa therapy in Central Europe“

The chairperson of the „Association Vincenz Priessnitz“ Dr. Jaroslav Novotny started the conference with his lecture on the effect of balneotherapy on mentally ill people. Basis of his study was the Knobloch-questionaire no5 which couldn’t provide clear results in single measures though. The study started with 100 patients in 2007 and finished with 69 persons. All participants were suffering from anxiety disorders and were asked 33 questions on subjective improvements. During the whole time the existing pharmaceutical medication was not changed.

The health resorts had to cover the costs for this qualitative research themselves, although depression is currently the most common disease in the Czech Republic. In order to have at least the treatment costs covered a psychiatrist has to make a stigmatizing diagnosis.

Besides the salutary conditions of a health resort (climate, environment, reputation) walks, social activities belong to the indispensable factors of a hydro therapeutic treatment. A treatment period of 21 until 28 days is considered a medical treatment and will be paid for by the public system if a prescription of a psychiatrist is on hand.

European Parliament, Brussels, Belgium 9.1.2018 – Report by Lauren Tuchman, ANME e.V.

This event at the European Parliament involved the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and was co-hosted by WEMOS (an independent civil society organization based in the Netherlands, whose aim is to improve public health worldwide)...

One intent behind this event was to discuss and understand how the European Medicines Agency (EMA) tackles the idea of transparency, and how the EMA is addressing and minimizing ‘conflicts of interest’. An additional focus was on a discussion of EMA’s openness/willingness to work toward greater attention, time, and allocation of resources to the idea of ‘added therapeutic value.’ This added therapeutic value could be applied to new medicines and independent clinical research as a precursor to decisions made on marketing authorization and acceptance of new pharmaceuticals; added therapeutic value could also aid in assessing, monitoring, enforcing safety, standardization, and accountability for those pharmaceuticals that are already approved and on the market.

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Universal Access & Affordable Medicines Forum of the European Public Health Alliance, organized by the European Public Health Alliance (epha) under the auspices of the Belgian Ministry of Health 21.11. 2017

By Lauren Tuchman, ANME

This was a well-attended event filled with varying participants from a multitude of organizations. The atmosphere was lively, questions were raised, and the panels throughout the days were diverse, interactive, and the members actively engaged with the attendees. In the opening remarks from Yannis Nastis, (Policy Manager, Universal Access and Affordable Medicines, European Public Health Alliance [EPHA]), one point was made that was reiterated by many of the panelists of the day: Access to medicine is no longer just a topic and concern for the Ministry of Health; it is important that the Ministry of Finance become more involved and address public concerns.