“It’s time you started blogging too, Serge”
Only a few days ago, I heard those words for the first time. Me? Writing a blog? Hmmm, ok, there could be an opportunity here... And now I am looking at a blinking cursor inviting me to put down a few thoughts and ideas.
Well, why don’t I start by answering a few questions “Why now? Why not 3-4 months ago, Serge? How often can we expect to read your posts? And what will you be talking about?”
It is true that I became Chief Executive Officer of EDMA and Eucomed back in July last year, which is already 7 months ago. However, I decided to first give myself enough time to really get to know the associations, what’s important to our combined industries and how can we give the MedTech Europe alliance the best possible start. After focusing for a large part on the internal environment (my colleagues and members), I think the time is right to start giving you, the readers of these blogposts, a look into some of the issues, challenges and opportunities that we will be dealing with in the months to come. Each month, you will be able to read about topics ranging from the Revision of the MDD and IVD legislation, and the value proposition of our industries, all the way to our industries’ strategy, and data about the benefits of our innovations, to name just a few. These writings won’t be press releases, they won’t be newsletter articles… they will just be my unfiltered take on those topics of importance to us and our industries.
But first; let’s have a look at what has happened in the second half of 2012.
Achieving our goals in a year of transition
Plenty of EDMA’s and Eucomed’s time and resources has gone of course into the new legislation for medical devices and in vitro diagnostics coming our way. Both associations have been working non-stop and continue our efforts to ensure that the new regulation improves patient safety, but also provides patients with timely access to innovation. I mean, Europeans cannot accept to lose time, sometimes up to 3 years, waiting for live-saving and enhancing technologies. And of course Europe should remain a place where medtech innovation can blossom.
Behind the scenes, a lot of preparatory work had also been done on the formation of MedTech Europe before we officially launched the Alliance at the MedTech Forum. To me, this Alliance really represents such a great opportunity to serve the common interests of the in vitro diagnostics and medical devices industries better and more efficiently whenever needed. It therefore doesn’t come as a surprise that we will be reinforcing the MedTech Europe presence in meetings, at events and in our contacts with other stakeholders when needed.
Lastly, and perhaps also a bit more holistic in nature is the execution of the 5-year strategy for the medtech industry, the Contract for a Healthy Future. With EDMA on board, we can now, in 2013 go out and demonstrate our commitment to delivering value-based innovation – innovation that not only improves health outcomes, but also proves to be cost-effective and in certain cases cost-saving. Our industries, together with the other players around the table, can contribute significantly to keeping Europe’s healthcare sustainable and this Contract is the cornerstone of that conviction for our entire industry.
The next 12 months
So what about 2013 then? We will of course be continuing a lot of the work that was started last year in terms of promoting our industry, demonstrating the added value of our innovations and as an industry executing our 5-year strategy. But what will continue to keep us all very busy in the office and around Rond-Point Schuman is of course the MDD and IVD revision. And on that note, keep an eye out this week for the launch of Eucomed’s official response to the Commission’s proposal for a revised MDD. This position paper will break down the important issues and clearly explain how Europe’s world class regulatory system can be made even better for patients and medical progress.
Lots of work still to be done, new ideas to pursue… and keep a look-out for some exciting things we’ve got coming up… “you won’t have to wait 3 years for them”.