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EUPATI: an IMI recently-launched Patient Academy

EPF Executive Director, Nicola Bedlington, introduced the project EUPATI - European Patients' Academy on Therapeutic Innovation - at the IMI Stakeholder Forum on 30 May. It was an example of a recently-launched project funded by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI).

EUPATI emerged from the acknowledgement that patients across the EU want and need more information on therapeutic innovation but are largely unaware of undertaking research and defining their role. On the other hand patient advocates play a key role in providing information, but may lack education and training to participate in research and drug development processes. This innovative patient-led academy aims at developing educational material, training courses and a public Internet library to educate patient representatives and the lay public about all processes involved in medicines development.

Nicola Bedlington took the opportunity during this meeting to put forward some of the crucial issues from a patient perspective in order to ensure that IMI optimises its impact on the pharmaceutical Research & Development (R&D) landscape. She pointed out the need for better and more patient involvement in IMI projects as real partners and not just research subjects – particularly as we move towards predictive and personalised medicines. She added the need for better communication conduits to bridge the gap between innovation and access to innovation. She further highlighted the importance of IMI reflecting a more holistic approach to medicines R&D- medicines play a crucial role but are not exclusive - and to innovation – look at innovation in all its guises, including low tech innovation, systems innovations, social innovations, etc. Finally she emphasized the fact that IMI should act as a catalyst for connectivity between the pharmaceutical sector, medical devices sector, telehealth sector, inclusive of self-care and home care. “The next generation of IMI should integrate all sectors”, she concluded.

During this meeting, IMI has announced the successful launch of its third wave of projects. The 7 new projects are taking on some of the biggest challenges in healthcare research: autism, diabetes, tuberculosis, drug and vaccine safety, and patient education.

To know more about the project, please visit EUPATI website.

To know more about these projects, please check the “ongoing projects” section on IMI website.