Coronavirus 02-12-2021

The Brief, powered by ELF — EU summit scoop

We live in frustrating times. As we face a powerful new COVID-19 wave, despite the relatively high vaccination rates in Europe, the EU Commission chief has proposed making jabs mandatory. An EU summit is likely to take place in the...
Coronavirus 30-11-2021

The Brief, powered by ELF — Nobody is safe until EU stops being hypocritical on vaccines

The mantra of EU officials that “nobody is safe until everybody is safe” is meaningless as long as the EU does not do enough to get vaccines to everybody. South Africa is the most recent victim of this hypocrisy.
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Why the EU should boost Patient Blood Management implementation in Europe and align EU legislation with WHO guidance

There are many reasons for the EU to take a greater role in preserving blood – including one’s blood –  to improve patients’ lives. The window of opportunity is here to support EU countries improve health systems, policies and practices...
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The review of the general pharmaceutical legislation: an opportunity that should not be missed?

This year, the end of December will not only mark the Holiday rush - at least for the healthcare policy specialists. Instead of rushing to the Christmas markets, most of them will be busy finalising their contributions to the revision of the general pharmaceutical legislation.

The Brief, powered by Facebook — One continent, two pandemics

Perhaps it was just too good to be true. After a few months of relative normality, trips to the cinema, beers with friends and eating out, we are back to restrictions. In Austria’s case, a full lockdown.
Digital & Media 18-11-2021

The Brief, powered by Facebook — The Dirty Dozen

The European Commission has been caught by surprise. In its efforts to fight disinformation, it developed instruments to monitor Russia. However, new research shows that the anti-vaxxer disinformation campaign to which many EU citizens have fallen victim actually originates in the United States.
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Call for Action: Enhancing plasma collection through increased regulatory efficiency

The European Commission is currently revising the EU Blood, Tissue and Cells legislation, to take into account the most recent technological, scientific, epidemiological and societal developments.
Coronavirus 08-11-2021

The Brief, powered by The Martens Centre — The East European COVID syndrome

It took a pandemic to realise just how different societies in the more successful West and in the less prosperous East of Europe are.
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Rare Diseases in the EU: Learning from Spinal Muscular Atrophy

There are 6,000 rare diseases identified to date and an estimated 30 million people living with a rare disease in Europe alone. Furthermore, there is no approved treatment for 95 percent of rare diseases. These staggering numbers demonstrate the urgent...

Paths towards decriminalising drug use in Europe

Gradually decriminalizing personal drug use in Europe has had numerous health benefits and helped tackle the taboo of drug addiction, writes Denis Huber.
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It’s Time EU Leaders Ensure COVID-19 Vaccine Equity

The novel coronavirus has shown glaring deficiencies in the world's collective ability to respond to infectious disease outbreaks, with none more evident than wealthy countries' self-destructive unwillingness to cooperate on vaccine equity for the benefit of the entire global population.
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Staying at the forefront of alternatives to animal testing

The EU is leading the way in protecting animals used for scientific purposes and transitioning to chemical safety assessment using alternative methods. But how can we remain in pole position and accelerate our move away from conventional animal tests? Maurice...
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How essential is microbial control for the functioning of society?

Within its Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability, the European Commission will design criteria to phase out the most harmful chemicals for non-essential societal use. In this article MCEC builds a case on why microbial control technologies are essential.
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The vaccination race: a public health view

Marathon runners say that the real difficulties, what they call "the wall", appear between km 30 and 35. At this point, physical and mental exhaustion forces some runners to withdraw. We have reached this point with COVID-19. We must find the tools and the strength to keep on running. Finishing this race is critical for all of us. It is critical to the entire world.
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Mental health crisis – a ticking time bomb.

Europe is on verge of a mental health crisis. The devastating impacts of COVID-19 have taken a further toll on people’s mental health and well-being. As we build back our economies and societies, it is crucial to put brain health at the top of the agenda of our recovery efforts.

Viruses don’t stop at our borders

The COVID-19 pandemic is a wake-up call for all of us. Human, animal, and plant health are all intrinsically interconnected. As the pandemic showed, we failed to integrate these three dimensions, writes Hilde Vautmans.
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Europe must play a key role in the revival of global health multilateralism for fairer societies

As Europe aims to build forward stronger and better, it is high time to revive talks on multilateralism. In its efforts to show leadership, Europe should create partnerships and respect the Global South perspective on pandemic preparedness and response.
Coronavirus 06-09-2021

The Brief — Close encounter with anti-vaxxers

This author of the Brief is back from the country with the lowest vaccination rate in the EU – Bulgaria – where only 15.5% of the adult population is fully vaccinated, while the EU average is 70%. The authorities in...

The Brief – A partnership for the next pandemic

The agreement between the EU and UK-Swedish drug-maker AstraZeneca, which has agreed to deliver 200 million doses of its promised vaccine by March 2022, brings to a close one of the messiest and politically charged disputes of the COVID pandemic.
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Kidney health and climate change: Shedding light on a long-neglected relationship

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is often described as the invisible killer, mostly because patients have few or no symptoms until it is too late. On the practical level, this means that the disease, although devastating for both the individual and...

Healthcare must drastically reduce emissions to help prevent new health crises

Climate change is the biggest health threat of the 21st century and healthcare systems need to dramatically reduce their emissions in order to help prevent this from worsening, writes Jacqueline Cramer.
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Superbug pandemic threatens to undo medical progress

It’s never easy to focus on more than one crisis at a time. But, as vaccines begin to point the way out of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is another global health threat lurking in the background which needs our attention:...
Global Europe 19-07-2021

The Brief – Watch your Olympic (flag) politics

Since their start in 1896, modern-day Olympic Games have rarely been free of politics. The upcoming Tokyo Games, opening on Friday, seem unlikely to break away from that pattern.

The Brief, powered by Greens/EFA – Notti Magiche

After the grand finale, came the mourning after; if you are an England fan, that is.