EU policy on information to patients
Information-to-patients subject to two Commission consultations
Two consultations will help shape EU policy on information to patients (ITP) over the coming months. The two consultation reflect coordinated Commission efforts to have a complete overview of current ITP regulations and quality standards before making any changes at EU level where strict rules limit the pharmaceutical industry to providing only limited information to patients. Open for comment until 30 June, the consultation launched by the Directorate-General for Enterprise concerns a draft report on national practices regarding information-to-patients, the needs of patients and the role of stakeholders. The second recently closed consultation by DG Health and Consumer Protection (DG SANCO) was designed to collect stakeholders’ feedback on both a ‘pilot’ information package on diabetes and on draft guidelines on quality principles for providing information to patients. The aim is to examine ways to provide ‘practical and realistic’ improvements to the information available to patients on health and treatment-related issues at European level. While DG SANCO’s consultation is non-legislative, on the basis of its consultation DG Enterprise does envisage a legislative proposal.