The European Commission and its Scientific Committee on Health, Environmental and Emerging Risks (SCHEER) has published two Scientific Advices related to breast implants and health. They are on 1) new scientific information on the safety of PIP breast implants and 2) the possible association between breast implants and anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL).
The first piece of advice concerns whether there is sufficient new scientific information on the safety of PIP breast implants to warrant an update of the 2014 SCENIHR Opinion and based on the scientific information it has gathered and evaluated, the SCHEER concludes that this is not the case at present.
The second piece of advice is on the state of scientific knowledge on a possible association between breast implants and anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL). The SCHEER concluded that, at present, there is insufficient scientific information available to establish a methodologically robust risk assessment on the potential association of breast implants with the development of ALCL.
To download the full advice on the safety of PIP breast implants from the ec.europa.eu website
To download the full advice on the association between breast implants and ALCL from the ec.europa.eu website
A 5-year Patient Blood Management (PBM) programme in Western Australia resulted in a 28% reduction in hospital mortality, a 15% reduction in average hospital length of stay, a 21% reduction in hospital-acquired infections and a 31% decrease in heart attack or stroke. There was also a 41% reduction in the use of blood products, leading to a substantial cost saving as well.
PBM is a patient-focused, evidence-based and systemic approach to improve patient outcomes through the safe and rational use of blood and blood products and avoiding unnecessary transfusions. Essential elements of PBM include:
- preventing conditions that might result in the need for transfusion
- appropriate diagnosis
- good surgical and anaesthetic techniques
- the use of alternatives to blood transfusion and blood conservation.
The PBM approach has been endorsed and promoted by the WHO and is widely accepted as current best practice.
The EU has recently published two guides on Patient Blood Management (PBM), one for authorities and the other for hospitals.
To download the two guides on Patient Blood Management from the ec.europa.eu website
This report ‘How can voluntary cross-border collaboration in public procurement improve access to health technologies in Europe?’ examines the legal framework put in place by the EU to foster voluntary cross-border collaboration in the field of public procurement of health technologies. It looks at recent experiences and developments in cross-border collaboration across Europe and explores the challenges and opportunities that such cross-border collaboration present.
To download the report on cross-border collaboration in public procurement from the euro.who.int website
At EU-level, ‘health’ expenditure remained the second largest item of general government expenditure after expenditure on ‘social protection’ in 2015. In the EU-28, total expenditure of general governments on ‘health’ amounted to 7.2% of GDP. ‘Hospital services’ accounted for 3.4 % of GDP, ‘outpatient services’ for 2.2 % of GDP and ‘medical products, appliances and equipment’ for 1.0 % of GDP.
For more statistics about expenditure on health services from the ec.europa.eu website
The EU’s expert group on health systems’ performance assessment has produced a report ‘Blocks: tools and methodologies to assess integrated care in Europe’.
A new Guide available online gives recommendations on how to boost cancer control in Europe. The Guide is the result of a three-year effort by top experts in 25 countries and 126 partner organisations. They have been working together in an EU co-funded joint action, known as Cancon (officially titled European Guide on Quality Improvement in Comprehensive Cancer Control Guide).
The Guide’s authors stress that besides saving money and time, effective cancer control increases quality of life. Currently some 2.6 million people in Europe are diagnosed with cancer annually. But more and more cancer patients are overcoming the disease. Therefore greater attention needs to be given to access to care, early diagnosis, rehabilitation, and survivorship.
For more information and to download the Guide to effective cancer control from the cancercontrol.eu website
The WHO have updated their factsheet on depression which includes the following facts:
- Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, with more than 300 million sufferers of all ages, and it is a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease.
- At its worst depression can lead to suicide, and nearly 800,000 people commit suicide every year. It is the second leading cause of death in 15-29-year-olds.
- There are effective treatments for depression although fewer than half of sufferers receive any treatment at all.
For more information and to download the factsheet on depression on the who.int website