On the 1st of October, the Patient Access Partnership (PACT) organised a session on “Facing the challenge of multimorbidity… how do we make it work for the patients” at the European Health Forum in Gastein. This session gathered a big number of participants from across the EU.

Patients are increasingly faced with the challenge of living with more than one condition, and multimorbidity is on its way to becoming a fundamental issue for the sustainability of healthcare systems.

The session kicked off with the insight of 3 patients, Bert Aben from GAMIAN Europe, Luis Mendao from EATG, and Wolfram Nolte from EuropaColon, who shared their experience of living daily with multiple chronic conditions and navigating healthcare systems. Other distinguished speakers also provided perspectives. Stakeholders of the PACT representing healthcare professionals, hospitals, industry such as CPME, EFPIA, EGA addressed their sectoral contribution to tackle multimorbidities.

The session was moderated by John Bowis, Special Adviser for Health and Environmental Policy, Former MEP.

Stanimir Hasurdjiev (an EPF Board Member) “The session today highlighted how  patients from across diseases areas and EU countries are confronted with living with two or more chronic conditions. The direct experience of patients show that coordination of care, shared decision making, and a patient centred approach are all essential to provide care that truly meets the needs of patients with multiple conditions.  Though there is increasing commitment to these ideas, they are not a reality for all EU patients, so it will take coordinated actions from all partners in healthcare to tackle the challenge of multimorbidity. This is what the Patient Access Partnership aims to achieve through a multi-stakeholder collaboration.

Birgit Berger (CPME) noted that “PACT is a powerful tool to make the patients’ view heard and patients’ stories are important. Doctors also face challenges due to working conditions and management . We need more time with the patients in order to render shared decision- making as the cornerstone, and to have good cooperation with patients. Collaboration between all healthcare professionals is also fundamental as we have heard today, pharmacists, nurses and specialists should communicate better together.

Elisabeth Kuiper (EFPIA)  said “EFPIA is working on the key challenge of multimorbidity. We currently have an IMI project on better data for better outcomes. In addition, we are launching a new project focusing on multimorbidities and we call on stakeholders and patients to reflect together on what we can do to improve care of patients with multiple conditions”.

Elke Grooten (EGA) explained that “The EGA very much value the PACT cooperation and multi-stakeholder approach to jointly address access to high quality healthcare for patients. In dialogue with partners, EGA adopted its Code of Conduct on interactions with the healthcare community to reinforce our transparency commitment. Also deriving from continuous dialogue with patients, the EGA members are significantly increasing access to major therapeutic areas and more recently access to value added medicines which are known molecules improved by innovative formulations that increase adherence to treatment and health outcome for patients.

This session was a timely opportunity to bring all stakeholders together and reflect on how to join forces to best address patients’ needs and venture in facing the challenge of multimorbidities.

Full report from the event could be found here.