WHO Report: Priority medicines for Europe and the World 2013 – update
Joint news release WHO/Geneva & WHO/EURO
16 July 2013 | GENEVA/COPENHAGEN – For the first time, EU countries have more people over 65 years of age than under 15 years of age. Echoing the trend seen in Europe, much of the rest of the world, including low-and middle-income countries, is moving in a similar direction. A new WHO report calls for pharmaceutical researchers to adjust their research and development efforts to account for this shifting demographic…
…The report, emphasizes that this shift in EU countries is ‘bell weather’ for the rest of the world as globally more people will be ageing and face similar health challenges in the future.
The report focuses on pharmaceutical ‘gaps’, where treatments for a disease or condition may soon become ineffective, are not appropriate for the target patient group, does not exist, or are not sufficiently effective.
“Despite an over three-fold rise in spending on pharmaceutical research and development in Europe since 1990, there is an increasing mismatch between people’s real needs and pharmaceutical innovation. We must ensure that industry develops safe, effective, affordable and appropriate medicines to meet future health needs,” says Nina Sautenkova, Health Technologies and Pharmaceuticals, WHO/Europe.
From a public health view, the trend of an increasing population over 65 leads to greater prevalence of diseases and conditions associated with ageing, such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, osteoarthritis, low-back pain, hearing loss, and Alzheimer disease. In combination with health promotion and disease prevention initiatives, these conditions also require more investment in research and innovation to bridge the pharmaceutical gaps.