The European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) has called on the European Commission to advance the EU’s position as global leader in health research beyond the remit of Horizon 2020.
This includes continued investment in research and developing a forward-looking agenda to help improve the lives of over 120 million citizens suffering from chronic diseases.
A new research programme will also help the introduction of healthcare programmes, which in turn can lead to earlier diagnosis and access to care.
EULAR sees continued investment in collaborative and EU-funded health research as the basis of member state societal health and economic strength.
Members of the EULAR network and representatives of the European Parliament discussed the next framework programme to consider possible approaches.
EULAR President Professor Johannes WJ Bijlsma said: “EULAR encourages the EU to build on the successful path of Horizon 2020 and increase investment in research and innovation.”
He added: “We therefore call on the EU to set itself the challenge of strengthening its role as global leader in health research and providing access to treatment.”
Representatives of the patients’ and health professionals’ communities within EULAR are presenting clear evidence regarding the need to involve and engage these key groups in the development of research priorities and in the research process itself.
President of the Alliance for Biomedical Research Professor Colm O’Morain said: “The EU research framework programme Horizon 2020 has proven to be a key facilitator. It is, however, clear that substantial political commitment and increased funding are required to transform Europe’s healthcare systems.”
The EU has developed into a leading region for research and innovation in health, in recent decades, including RMDs.
Under Horizon 2020, more than €7bn is estimated to be invested into health research.