Three working groups to empower EPF Policy Advisory Group

The Policy Advisory Group (PAG) met on 4 June 2012 in EPF offices. Set up in 2009, the Group has become an invaluable advisory body for the EPF Board and Secretariat. Among other topics of interest, the Group in its pre-summer meeting confirmed the launch of three pilot working groups on specific themes, to which all interested EPF members can contribute.

The PAG’s role is to advise the EPF Board and Secretariat on policy topics prioritised by EPF’s annual general meeting and issues which, because of their complex, controversial and/or highly political nature, require detailed and in-depth discussion.

The major concern of the meeting was to take forward in practical terms the revised structure of the Policy Advisory Group. Due to the increasing number of policy topics in which EPF is involved, the board decided that the PAG’s role within the consultation process should be clarified and strengthened. A new structure was presented at the EPF AGM in April 2012. On 4 June it was decided to set up three “pilot” working groups on specific topics. The topics will be defined based on the results of an EPF survey undertaken at the end of 2011, reflecting members’ interest but also aiming to plug some “gaps” to address important but under-recognised issues.

A number of other topics was discussed. EPF invited representatives from the Pharmaceutical Group of the European Union (PGEU) and the European Directorate for Quality and Safety of Medicines of the Council of Europe (EDQM) to present to the group two alternative models to put in place the safety and traceability features required by the Falsified Medicines Directive adopted in 2011. 
The Group also explored the topic of generic medicines, and how to address anti-discrimination from the patients’ perspective. They also reflected on ways to integrate mental health into EPF’s work.

The next PAG meeting will take place in September 2012. The topics of the working groups will be decided in the next weeks and circulated to the membership.

For more information, please contact Kaisa Immonen-Charalambous.