Free-Trade Zone EU-US

Wednesday, 02.10.2013 | 15:00 - 18:00

Organised by European Alliance for Personalised Medicine (EAPM), IPHG at Maastricht University and Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics (MPIMG)

Implications for health systems

The world's biggest free-trade zone negotiations between the EU and the US are a historic opportunity to address legacy issues such as the independence of the national regulatory authorities.

The EU Commissioner for Trade, Karel De Gucht, has called it a “living agreement” to be finished by the end of 2014. The Treaty of Rome (1957) was groundbreaking in promoting the idea of an “ever closer union”. Is that compatible with the Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA)? Politics can shift the sands quickly, creating a “tragedy of the commons” scenario in which an overall positive outcome is blocked by special interests.

On the other hand, there is great hope that cooperation will reduce unnessary regulation on both sides of the Atlantic. However, healthcare is not an arena where the free market works perfectly. For example, can the FDA and other American authorities accept European certificates without question and vice versa?

The parallel forum will discuss the pro-and-con implications for health focussing on products, services, providers and users. Above all, the opportunities for innovation collaboration will be analysed.

The forum will address:
• Medical devices and drugs - regulatory issues and bottlenecks
• Implications for personalised medicine and healthcare
• Importance of positioning
• Adding value for citizens and health systems


Angela Brand, Institute for Public Health Genomics, Maastricht University, The Netherlands

Expectations EU

Bernard Merkel, Minister Counselor, Delegation to the United States of America, European Union

Open Society Foundations (OSF) perspective

Els Torreele, Director, Access to Essential Medicines Initiative, Open Society Foundations, USA

Big Data perspective

Jody Ranck, Director of Digital Health, TeleManagement Forum, USA

Industry perspective

Pierre Anhoury, Senior Executive, Accenture, France


Stephane Berghmans, VP Academic & Research Relations EU, Elsevier Global Academic Relations, The Netherlands


Kristine Steinhausen, European Science Foundation, France

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