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Medtech in 2012
The European cardiovascular medical device industry was presented on May 20, 2013, at the annual meeting of the European Association for Percutaneous Cardiovascular Interventions with the Ethica Award for its contribution to improving European patient care. Interventional cardiologists use narrow tubes, or catheters, passed through arteries or veins to reach the heart or other organs to carry out procedures and insert devices to treat disease. The award recognises the role played by safe, innovative cardiovascular devices in addressing unmet medical needs and improving patient survival rates and quality of life.
At its annual event in Paris on May 20, the European Association for Percutaneous Cardiovascular Interventions (PCR) presented the European cardiovascular medical device industry the Ethica award in recognition of its contribution to improving patient care. Devices such as drug eluting stents and mechanical valves enable interventional cardiologists to treat patients less invasively, to treat patients for whom they were previously no treatment options and, more recently, to perform interventional procedures that improve survival as well as quality of life. The development of safe, innovative medical devices has enabled clinicians to take procedures that once were long, open surgical procedures and make them less invasive, catheter-based procedures that reduce risk, morbidity and mortality for patients.
The Ethica Award is given each year at PCR’s annual EuroPCR event to honour those who have significantly contributed to the field of cardiovascular intervention as a teacher, scientist, care provider or pioneer. Addressing the 12,000 delegates in attendance at the event, PCR chairman Dr William Wijns explained: “Over the past 30 years the cardiovascular device industry has developed a range of innovative devices and technologies that have enabled interventional cardiologists to transform medicine. The industry has put in the commitment, investment and technical expertise to go through the cycle of invention, technical development, pre-clinical and clinical evaluation, validation, registration and testing in the real world to bring devices to routine clinical use.”
Accepting the Ethica Award on behalf of the device industry, Michele Perrino, president of Volcano EMEA and chairman of the cardiovascular sector group of Eucomed, Europe's medical device industry association, said: “We are honoured to receive the Ethica award, especially at a time when the EU regulatory framework for medical devices is under revision. Today in Europe, we are able to provide patients and clinicians access to innovative life-saving technologies three years earlier than other parts of the world. With appropriate regulatory conditions, we can continue to help people—we can continue to save lives.”
The European medical technology industry, represented by Eucomed, has committed in its five-year strategy “Contract for a Healthy Future” to engage effectively with essential healthcare stakeholders like healthcare professionals and patients to improve health outcomes and increase cost-effectiveness. “The collaboration between industry, clinicians, physicians’ societies, teaching institutions, regulators and hospital payers is a unique and essential ecosystem that has enabled the advancement of patient care while minimising social cost,” said Eucomed CEO Serge Bernasconi. He added: “It is a clear example of how industry, clinicians and governments can work together to improve outcomes and manage long-term medical costs.”
Continuing a theme that the current European healthcare regulations allow patients to enjoy innovations three years before those in other parts of the world, Eucomed have launched a campaign against the European Commission's proposed Scrutiny Procedure to regulate the release of new high risk devices. The campaign, Don't Lose the 3, says that the proposed Scrutiny Procedure will slow innovation in Europe, and patients will no longer be able to benefit from this three-year advantage when it comes to gaining access to new products before the rest of the world.