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CPME Board meeting 24 October 2009 outcomes


29 Oct 2009


Health & Consumers

CPME Subcommittees and Board met on 23 and 24 October 2009 in Winchester, United Kingdom.

The following CPME policy documents were adopted:

Use of Health Related Genetic Information outside the Health Service

The ever increasing range and sophistication of genetic information now available offer many potential direct health benefits, but also raises important ethical questions. Among these, CPME believes it is essential to address the ownership of genetic information, the right to confidentiality as against the right of other people affected by that information, and the possibility of discrimination.

CPME calls national governments to enact legislation based on respect for human dignity, human rights, personal integrity and without any discrimination on the basis of genetic constitution.
Therefore, such regulation should prohibit the use of health related genetic information outside the area of direct patient care and health service, such as for insurance or pension funds purposes.

Vitamin D nutritional policy in Europe

The vitamin D endocrine system is not only important for bone and muscle health but also influences many other tissues such as the immune system, the cardiovascular / metabolic system, cell proliferation and cancer. Yet, the published literature shows that approximately 50% of the population is vitamin D deficient and in some cases severely deficient.

Several possible strategies exist to improve the vitamin D status in the major target groups but in some cases, vitamin D supplements or enriched food products are the only viable option. There is evidence that Vitamin D supplementation (600-800 IU D3) and a good calcium intake (about or above 1 g/d) would significantly reduce the risk of fractures and falls. Therefore CPME believes such supplementations should especially be considered in elderly people (older than 75 years).

CPME calls on the EU Institutions to include vitamin D deficiency in the health agenda.

Prescription for a Healthy Planet

Climate change will affect our individual health, public health and health care systems. Health represents the point of convergence of all the disruptions and damages caused by climate change, both the direct ones (e.g. respiratory disease) and indirect ones (e.g. effect of heat waves, water shortage, malnutrition).

CPME co-signed the Prescription for a Healthy Planet, calling for better representation into the negotiations leading to Copenhagen. Indeed, the health sector will need to be at the forefront in responding to the effects of climate change, and developing adaptation measures which do not add further to the climate problem.

All efforts must be done to come up with a strong, binding Copenhagen Treaty that promotes a healthy climate.

CPME Response to the Commission proposal for Council Recommendation
on Patient Safety

CPME welcomes the European Commission’s proposal, which recognizes the urgency of joint actions with regard to patient safety. CPME agrees with the European Commission that action at European level will give added value. It helps patients by: adding political weight and visibility, assisting Member States in sharing data and best practices, assisting Member States in sharing remedies, and funding research.

CPME welcomes the recommendation that Member States establish reporting systems that are fair, open and non punitive. CPME also stresses that the European Commission’s role in promoting patient safety will not be over, once this recommendation has been adopted. In addition, CPME urges the Council to give due consideration to the future organization of EU patient safety work and to the creation of a European Center for Patient Safety.

All CPME Policy documents are available at:

For more information, contact:


CPME Secretary General

Tel.: +32 2 732 72 02

Fax: +32 2 732 73 44


For more information about CPME, consult our website:


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