A History of EPF

2003-2015 – Laying the Foundations for Collective European Patient Advocacy

In 12 short years, EPF grew from 13 to 63 patient organisations. During this time, patient groups built alliances and trust while laying the foundations for patient advocacy in crucial policy areas such as: patient safety, health literacy, pharmaceutical legislation and access to healthcare.

EPF led its first EU-funded project: Value+. This marked the start of our involvement in European projects to gather evidence-based information from patients to substantiate our policy work. The Capacity Building Programme to share knowledge and enable our members to become effective actors in driving positive change in all issues affecting patients at both national and European levels.

In 2012, we launched, together with over 30 partners, the European Patient Academy on Therapeutic Innovation, a major Public-Private Partnership on patient education. In addition, the Youth Group was established as the backbone of the EPF Youth Strategy to explore how young patients’ needs could be better recognised by patient organisations through their effective involvement and empowerment.

2015-Present – Making Patient Involvement a Reality

EPF introduced a campaign approach focusing on our key pillars: patient empowerment and access to healthcare, to complement our core advocacy and projects work.

EPF continued its campaign approach with its 2019 EU Elections Manifesto, #EuropeForPatients, designed by its members, which captured the five priorities that matter to patients. 2019 also saw the first ever EPF Congress, completely driven and led by patients and patient organisations. This, and subsequent events are focusing on the gaps in EU health policy from the patients’ perspective and making meaningful patient involvement a concrete reality.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, EPF has taken a leading role in providing state of the art information for our members and sharing the real life experiences of our communities. We also called on the European Commission and the health industry to act to ensure that patients' rights are respected in the pandemic response and that patients’ expertise is used to learn from the pandemic in building resilient and people-centred health systems for the future.