November 2015



On 24-25 November 2015, 45 patient leaders from Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland met in Lund for the seventh EPF Regional Advocacy Seminar. This year, the seminar looked specifically at how to strengthen patient involvement in research and policy.

This two-day event explored the following issues: what is the respective role of individual patients and patient organisations in research and what are the opportunities for patients to be involved? “Ethics committees, clinical trials, HTA reviews: there is now an increasing number of doors opening for patients to become involved in research”, affirmed Anders Olauson, EPF President. “We need to increase the awareness of patients of such opportunities and to multiply training programmes bringing them the core knowledge and confidence in their own expertise, such as EUPATI, the European Patients’ Academy on Therapeutic Innovation.”


The second day was dedicated to building partnerships and alliances at all levels, between patient organisations but also with other stakeholders such as healthcare professionals and companies.

There is a huge challenge laying ahead of us, patient organisations, and that is to build up new kinds of co-operations to get the best for the patients”, said Minna Anttonen from the Finnish Association of Cancer Patients.

While the stated goal of this seminar was to strengthen patient organisations’ capacity to become more empowered actors in the national and European health policy arena, the interactive format of the meeting also allowed for extensive networking between patient leaders from the Nordic countries.

The eighth EPF Regional Advocacy Seminar is scheduled to take place in Amsterdam in June 2016: stay tuned!

Contact: Camille Bullot, EPF Membership Officer at