October 22th 2014, Brussels – The NGO signatories of this statement wholeheartedly welcome the announcement of the reversal of the decision by President-elect Jean-Claude Juncker to move the competence for pharmaceutical and medical devices to the enterprise directorate.
Following negotiations within the European Parliament and concerns expressed by a number of member states, President-elect Juncker stated today that the "responsibility for medicines and pharmaceutical products will stay with the Directorate-General for Health because I agree with you that medicines are not goods like any other. The relevant policy will be developed jointly by Vytenis Andriukaitis and by Elżbieta Bieńkowska, who showed her incredible talents in her hearing." This signals that these policies are seen by President-elect Juncker as an essential part of European health policy. It also indicates that the safety and security of Europeans are prioritized in the new Commission. We would like to warmly thank President-elect Juncker for his commitment to the promise that he made in response to an open letter sent to him by 35 public health organizations where he stated that “As President of the Commission, I will make sure that public health will be at least as important in our policies as internal market considerations.”
With this new perspective, Mr Juncker has demonstrated that medicines are not an ordinary internal market good and that pharmaceutical policy is crucial to the sustainability of health systems; not solely an instrument for promoting economic growth. This can be seen also as a clear victory for public health, patients and European citizens. Commissioner-Designate for Health and Food Safety, Dr Vytenis Andriukaitis** will now have the tools to fulfill his mandate to harmonize pharmaceutical governance within the EU and facilitate emergency preparedness; the very reasons that in 2009 led the European Commission to move responsibility for medicines and medical devices into the hands of the health Commissioner.
** (10 September 2014, Brussels – Today Mr Vytenis Andriukaitis, former Health Minister of Lithuania, was designated as new European Commissioner for the Health Policy and Food Safety portfolio)
A delegation headed by Shri Nilanjan Sanyal, Secretary, Deptt. of AYUSH, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare visited Hungary on 21-24th September 2014. Accompanied by Shri Bala Prasad, Joint Secretary, Deptt. of AYUSH and Dr. Abhimanyu Kumar, Director, All India Institute of Ayurveda and Director Incharge Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences, New Delhi, the delegation came to visit Hungary with the aim to promote Ayurveda in the country, and to participate in the International Ayurveda conference which was held on 22-23rd September in cooperation with the Traditional Indian Medicine for the Public Health in Hungary Foundation.
On 22nd Sept. the inaugural session of the conference was held at the ASCC auditorium of the Embassy from 1500-18:15 featuring a short film on Ayurveda, welcome addresses by Ambassador Malay Mishra and Dr. Peter Medgyessy, Founder, Traditional Indian Medicine for the Public Health in Hungary Foundation and several presentations.
On 29 April 1999, in line with the international and national recommendations on complementary and alternative medical (CAM) therapies expressed by bodies such as the Council of Europe and the European Parliament, the Belgian Parliament voted in the Colla Law in order to initially regulate practitioners of four of the most popular CAM practices in Belgium: acupuncture, chiropractic, homeopathy and osteopathy.
In the years to follow professional bodies for these practices were founded and accredited by the Ministry of Health, among which the Liga Homeopathica Classica was established for homeopathy. The Liga established high standards for the education and professional profile of homeopaths in line with the guidelines of the European Central Council of Homeopaths in preparation for an eventual specific legal framework for the profession.
Eventually, after legal pressure was brought to bear, the Ministry of Health set up 4 commissions, one for each practice, in order to establish the specific details concerning the regulation the four disciplines. Unfortunately the homeopathy commission was neither democratically constituted, nor did they include adequate representation of the most important interest of all, patients and citizens.
On Monday 12 May 2014, 15 years after the Colla Law was introduced, a Royal Decree was published by the Ministry of Health that completely denies the autonomy of the profession of the homeopath and deprives Belgian patients of their freedom of choice to have homeopathic treatment now and into the future.
AGTCM-Congress 2014, Rothenburg o.d.T.
Report by Nora Laubstein
International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11)-revision by WHO/ Enhanced recording of morbidity in TM terms
In connection with the ICD which classifies all relevant diseases on international level (in the beginning 1900, later in 1948 accepted worldwide) the European TCM-Association (ETCMA) and the German organization AGTCM presented Mister Nenad Kostanjsek, Technical Officer for statistics CTS of the WHO in Geneva and his team. He was invited to give a review in three parts about the last three years of working together for a TM-alignment included into the ICD-system.
Until now (ICD-10) all diseases are listed but without any concrete definition. This situation should be changed with the new version ICD-11 which should be finished in 2017: Additionally to this process the department of Mister Kostanjsek works together with the WHO-T&CM department of Dr. Zang Qi. They have founded an internal Working-Group (ICTM) to develop categories for the health workforce in the so called WHO-TM-Modul-1.
Currently only three countries were represented in this group and give financial support: China, Japan and Korea. In the past eight CAM-disciplines have been standardized (under all TCM, Homeopathy, Chiropractic and Osteopathy) and connected with the WHO-benchmark-directive for T&CM (former called TM/CAM).
Mister Kostanjsek contested: Yes, T&CM is part of the health section, BUT „TM does not count, until we do not count TM!” More and more demands for quality and safety are strengthening the pressure. Because of growing necessarily we have to find a high level categorization!
For the WHO this situation leads to the following perspectives:
Dr. Vera Paola Termali, President of SIHeN, Professional Association of Italian Heilpraktikers and Naturopaths
Last month the discussion about CAM in Italy became hot, when the Ministry of Health realized that at the beginning of 2013 a law was issued which allowed all professions without a dedicated regulation to be practiced under the supervision of professional associations and through a UNI Norm, a quality standard certification.
This framework law includes a variety of professions, ranging from web designers to graphologists, but some professional associations of naturopaths decided to put also naturopathy under this umbrella.