EU cooperation on rare diseases honoured with new EU Ombudsman prize

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06/04/2017

EU cooperation on rare diseases honoured with new EU Ombudsman prize

European Reference Networks benefit over 30 million Europeans with rare diseases

The European Commission’s initiative on European Reference Networks for rare diseases (ERNs) has won the first European Union (EU) Ombudsman award.

ERNs link centres of expertise and professionals on rare diseases in the different EU Member States to share knowledge and identify how patients can get access to the highly specialised care they need, when experts on their particular disease are unavailable in their home country.

ERNs offer a unique opportunity for over 30 million people with rare diseases in the EU to improve their access to diagnosis, treatment and care across borders.

“This award is a well-deserved recognition for more than 15 years of solid and consistent work by the European Commission together with EU countries, patients’ and healthcare professionals’ associations and other stakeholders in the area of rare disease,” said Guido Rasi, Executive Director of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) as he congratulated the Commission’s Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety. “Projects such as the European Reference Networks show that by operating closely to its citizens and their needs, the EU is able to deliver concrete benefits for millions of European patients. EMA is very proud to be associated with some of these networks through our work on medicines for rare diseases.”

The Award for Good Administration is a pilot initiative launched by the European Ombudsman to recognise exemplary administration that makes a real difference to EU citizens and bring them to greater public attention.

90 projects were nominated for the award. EMA was shortlisted in the category “Excellence in collaboration” for its works with the European Commission, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to fight antimicrobial resistance.

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