On 25 March 2015 nearly 50 representatives of patient organisations, clinical research institutions, the pharmaceutical industry and authorities met in Lausanne to exchange their personal experiences and views of patient involvement in medical research and development. This event provided an ideal opportunity for potential stakeholders to learn about the EUPATI project and ongoing activities. The programme and presentations are available on our French page.
The European Patients’ Academy (EUPATI) seeks to increase the knowledge of patients and patient organisations in order to become effective advocates and counsellors in medical research, for example in the field of clinical trials, government agencies or ethics committees. Patients shall receive scientifically sound, objective and understandable information about medical research and development.
The aim of the meeting in Lausanne was to gather interested organisations and individuals and lay the ground for the creation of a national platform in Switzerland. The platform will assist EUPATI in the wider dissemination of educational material and locally support the interested audience in acquiring the necessary knowledge to engage in the medical research and development processes.
The experiences in patient empowerment were touchingly demonstrated during the meeting by patient representatives who presented their personal stories and journeys towards their engagement in the health sector. Representatives from academia, the pharmaceutical industry and the local ethics commission explained their work and explored the possibilities of patient involvement in medical research and associated processes.
Opportunities for patient (organisation) engagement are still rare in Switzerland and the willingness of many stakeholders to collaborate within such models is still lacking. It is for this reason that the national EUPATI platform in Switzerland will strive to support the creation of opportunities for patient engagement in Switzerland.