Archive for April, 2019

EKHA Monthly Newsletter

April 2019

EKHA Activities

Thematic Network Update

Take part in the 1st Thematic Network webinar on “Improving organ donation and transplantation in the EU.”

Register here to share your ideas and comments on EKHA’s Joint Statement.

Read More here

Should you have any questions, please e-mail


EKHA invites you to attend the 6th Annual European Kidney Forum on Tuesday, 25 June at the Renaissance Hotel in Brussels.

Hosted by the MEP Group for Kidney Health, this Policy Roundtable aims to gather patients, carers, providers, foundations, researchers, policy makers and health authorities to foster dialogue about the challenges and opportunities for organ donation and transplantation across EU, regardless of condition. 

Read More here

ECDA supports call to action led by the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) on medicine access and shortages

Shortages of inexpensive essential medicines is an under-addressed issue, despite its grave impact on patients. “While medicines can be replaced by other drugs, not all patients are equally sensitive to specific drugs, many have contra-indications, and stand-ins are often more expensive” -EKHA Chair Prof. Vanholder

Member States report difficulties in tackling this problem alone, further highlighting the need for a coordinated and centralised approach.

Read More here

EKHA Insights: MEP Group for Kidney Health 

The European election will take place from the 23rd till the 26th of May, 2019. With this important shift in the policy landscape just weeks away, here’s our take on what to expect.

Read More here

EU Policy

DG SANTE Health Programme

2019 Work Plan

On 1 April, the Commission’s Health Programme was released. The Work Programme for 2019 is built around the 4 priority areas, while addressing the dimension of health inequalities as a cross-cutting issue. Priority 4 specifically focuses on promotion of health and prevention of non-communicable diseases

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HORIZON EUROPE Receives Sign Off

The legislation setting out the details of the EU’s research spending from 2021 received sign off following the trilogue deal last month. MEPs had their final chance to air views on the program before they voted to confirm the deal; the Council signed off on 15 April. The deal sets the operational objectives and types of activities envisaged for Horizon Europe, including launching a European Innovation Council and a new research mission on cancer.

Read More here


The Commission announced an EU Health Award to reward cities, schools and NGOs with the best initiatives to fight childhood obesity. Those eligible can submit their proposals to the Commission until May 13 at 11 a.m., and the three winners can claim their €100,000 prizes in October.

Read More here

Romanian Presidency – Informal meeting of EU Health Ministers

On 14-15 April, the Romanian Health Ministry organised the Informal Meeting of EU Health Ministers, under the auspices of the Romanian Presidency. Chaired by Romanian Health Minister Sorina Pintea, the debate was attended by more than 140 delegates from the Member States of the EU.

Read More here


German Health Minister Jens Spahn presented a plan to fight Germany’s organ transplant backlog. Under the plan, citizens would by default be listed as organ donors unless they explicitly opt-out.

Read More here

Upcoming Activities

Activity/Event Date
Thematic Network: Webinar 1 8 May, 2019
The CHRODIS Conference Budapest (Hungary) 4-15 May, 2019
IMI Call: Blockchain Enabled Healthcare Submission deadline:15 May, 2019
IMI Call: Integrated research platforms enabling patient-centric drug development Submission deadline:15 May, 2019
 EFSA Public consultation on draft dietary reference values for sodium  22 May, 2019
European Elections 23-26 May, 2019
World Health Assembly 20–28 May, 2019
ERA-EDTA National Societies Meeting 12 June, 2019
56th ERA-EDTA Congress Budapest (Hungary) 13-16 June, 2019
EKHA Associate Members Meeting 25 June, 2019
EKHA Management Committee Meeting 25-26 June, 2019
European Kidney Forum 25 June, 2019
IMI Call: Central repository of digital pathology slides to support the development of artificial intelligence tools 26 June, 2019 (TBC)
IMI Call: Improving patient access, understanding and adherence to healthcare information: an integrated digital health information project 26 June, 2019 (TBC)
Thematic Network: Webinar 2 9-11 September, 2019 (TBC)
Thematic Network: Submission of final version of Joint Statement Early September (TBC)
48th EDTNA/ERCA International Conference Prague, Czech Republic 14-17 September, 2019
The Finnish EU Presidency conference on the Economy of Wellbeing, Brussels 17-19 September, 2019
European Research and Innovation Days 24 -26 September, 2019
EU Health Programme High Level Conference (DG Sante), Brussels 30 September, 2019
Thematic Network: Endorsement period of Joint Statement September – November
Thematic Network: Presentation of the Joint Statements at the Eu Health Policy Platform Meeting October (TBC)
European Health Forum Gastein, Austria 2-4 October, 2019
European Day for Organ Donation and Transplantation (EODD) London (UK) 12 October, 2019
Dutch Kidney Foundation Red Carpet 23 November, 2019
Thematic Network: Closure of the 2019 Thematic Network Cycle, transformation into stakeholder network and lessons learned webinar with SANTE Units and the HPP team. December (TBC)

EKHA Insights: MEP Group for Kidney Health

While election outcomes can never be predicted with certainty, here’s what is known to date about the current MEP Kidney Health Group:

Not returning in the fall:

Miroslav Mikolasik (EPP, SL)

Karin Kadenbach (S&D, AU) – Co-Chair of MEP Group for Kidney Health

Expected to stand again for re-election (depending on their position on their national parties’ list):

Peter Liese (EPP, DE)

Annie Schreijer-Pierik (EPP, NL)

Sirpa Pietikäinen (EPP, FI)

Christel Schaldemose (S&D, DK)

Hilde Vautmans (ALDE, BE)

Mark Demesmaeker (ECR, BE)


Aldo Patriciello (EPP, IT)

Whatever the outcome, many MEP hopefuls have signaled the importance of health on the EU agenda and is expected to feature more prominently across several DG’s, including research. Like many in the sector, EKHA hopes this integrated approach to health will bring the harmonisation needed at EU level to tackle the future challenges ahead. EKHA looks forward to reinvigorating the MEP Group for Kidney Health under the next legislature.

To stay up to date on what’s going on, the European Parliament launched a website for citizens to monitor European election results. The website showcases past elections, as well as live streaming of the upcoming elections.

EKHA’s Thematic Network 1st Webinar

On Wednesday 08 May 2019, from 14.30 till 15.30, EKHA invites interested stakeholders to exchange ideas and comments on the first webinar of the Thematic Network on “Improving organ donation and transplantation in the EU. The network of partners who have expressed interest in supporting this initiative is growing and comprises of Spanish and Croatian Competent Authorities, respected medical societies involved in transplantation, including ESOT, Eurotransplant and the European Society of Anaesthesiology (ESA ), our esteemed partner collaborations representing various organ groups, including the European Heart Network (EHN), Pulmonary Hypertension Association Europe and the European Respiratory Society (ERS), patients, families and the organisations that support them. This webinar is free and open to the public. No registration required. It will be recorded, and the link shared in the Agora network after the webinar. 

To access, click here, enter your name, organisation, email, and if required, the access code (841 806 814) and password (webinar2019).


25 June, 2019

EHKA is pleased to announce its 6th Annual European Kidney Forum: Organ Donation and Transplantation in the EU. Owing to proximity of the European Elections and the desire to have dynamic and interactive dialogue, this year’s forum will be held at the Renaissance Hotel in Brussels.

EKHA is honoured to receive the continued support of the MEP Group for Kidney Health, and to have MEP Hilda Vautmans provide this year’s opening address. EKHA has also secured Stefaan Van der Spiegel of DG SANTE, to provide the Commission perspective. The 2019 forum will aim to bring together expert collaboration from the German Health Minister, Croatian and Spanish Competent Authorities, medical societies involved in transplantation, our partner collaborations representing various organ groups and of course patients, families and the organisations that support them.

The Policy Roundtable format aims to to foster dialogue about the challenges and opportunities for organ donation and transplantation across EU, regardless of condition. The ideas and insights garnered from the panel discussion will inform the EU Thematic Network Joint Statement on Organ Donation and Transplantation

As in previous years, EKHA will host its annual meeting with associate members to exchange good practice on organ donation and transplantation. Over the past few months, EHKA has been active in securing sponsorship for what is expected to be our biggest Forum to date. We are proud to announce that several sponsors have expressed interest in supporting this year’s forum, including: Astellas, Baxter, B Braun, CSL Behring and Amgen