EUPATI Graduation Ceremony & Final Conference


Coming to a close as an IMI-project, the European Patients' Academy on Therapeutic Innovation (EUPATI) programme marked the occasion with a graduation ceremony for 100 expert patients and a final conference drawing conclusions on 5 years of effort by the EUPATI team, patients, and partners. 

When time will come to draw the curtain on the EUPATI programme in its IMI form, patients and partners will certainly feel some pride looking at the important milestones achieved during those five years. 

The EUPATI programme established an effective, trusted, apolitical partnership between patient organisations, academia, and industry. It provided scientifically reliable, objective, and comprehensive information to patients and patient advocates on the research and development process (R&D) of medicines. It produced several tools for patient advocates and the general public, including the multilingual EUPATI Toolbox and the Patient Expert Training Course, which was rolled out in two cycles.

Many important events recently took place to mark the end of this outstanding initiative.

On the 13th of December, EUPATI celebrated its first group of graduating Expert Patients, the EUPATI fellows. These 100 patients and patient representatives from 58 disease areas in 31 countries will bring priceless expertise and observation throughout the medicines research and development process.

The next day took place the final EUPATI conference, entitled “All Aboard to a Better Health Future”.

More than 250 delegates had the opportunity to hear from representatives of the pharmaceutical industry, competent authorities, academia, and patient organisations on the meaningful involvement of patients at all stages of medicines’ development process.

A patient advocate for 15 years, Jan Geissler, EUPATI Director, underlined the pioneer work of EUPATI in fostering patient involvement in medicines’ research and development through knowledge and education.  

Closing the conference, Nicola Bedlington, Secretary General of the European Patients’ Forum urged all patients to continue: “pushing forward for fuller integration of patients.”

Nicola also took the opportunity to confirm that the EUPATI project would carry on as an EPF-led programme keeping the public-private partnership spirit which proved very successful in the context of EUPATI as an IMI project. This will enable us to continue to provide patients with the tools to empower their expertise to ultimately improve the medicines’ development pathway. 

As for the next milestones, the EUPATI programme will include a third cycle of its Patient Expert Training Course. Based on six modules, the course teaches participants about the process of medicines development, including patient involvement. The application period for this course will open on 31 January 2017 with the final deadline for submission by 31 March 2017.

The full content of the course is also available for free download under a Creative Commons Attribution at

There will undoubtedly be more EUPATI announcements coming from EPF in the near future - stay tuned!


Nicola Bedlington, EPF Secretary General.