MEPs call to prioritise cardiovascular unmet needs in EU funding programmes

European Society of Cardiology

EU funding instruments must prioritise unmet needs in cardiovascular disease. This is what the Members of the European Parliament (MEP) Heart Group will call for during an event in the presence of the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education, and Youth and the Deputy Director General of DG SANTE today.

Despite a period of decline in cardiovascular mortality, cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death in the EU and a major societal burden.

Cardiovascular disease is not always preventable. It impacts people of all ages and contributes substantially to premature death in the EU (around 20% before the age of 65).1 Many conditions are inherited, some may be caused or worsened by other chronic conditions or their treatments, and others may be incurred or exacerbated due to ageing. As most cardiac conditions cannot be cured, understanding their molecular causes and developing personalised approaches will provide new treatment pathways for the many patients affected. Very few innovative cardiovascular therapies have been developed in recent years despite the many unmet patient needs.2 The pandemic has further aggravated the burden of CVD, leaving many people with new cardiovascular conditions after recovering from COVID-19.

In its statement ‘The EU funding landscape: promoting research and innovation for cardiovascular health’ the MEP Heart Group calls on the European Commission and the Programme Committees of Horizon Europe and EU4Health to:

  • Support cardiovascular research, from basic to translational clinical research, for new discoveries that can improve the lives of millions of people in the EU and beyond.
  • Design a public private research partnership on cardiovascular disease focusing on the complete patient pathway.
  • Support the building of digital infrastructure systems to ensure that high-quality, standardised cardiovascular data can be used effectively to support personalised clinical decision-making.
  • Integrate cardiovascular registries, such as EuroHeart3, as use cases under the European Health Data Space initiative.
  • Encourage Member States’ joint actions on early detection of cardiovascular disease aimed at setting effective policy interventions in the continuum of care to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease.
  • Leverage the potential of the Pharmaceutical Strategy to accelerate innovation in the development of high quality, safe and effective cardiovascular medicines, harnessing the benefits of digital technologies.
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