The Value of Treatment Report was presented in Brussels on June 22nd 2017 at a medical conference organised by the European Brain Council (EBC). The European Union spends just over three euro a year per patient on research into brain disorders – while levels of access to treatment in many Member States are becoming worse, not better.
The report, “Value of Treatment for Brain Disorders” highlights the need for more investment into research on neurological and mental diseases and the wide disparities between and within countries relating to treatments, detection and intervention.
More than 165 million Europeans are living with brain disorders such as epilepsy, Alzheimer`s disease, depression and multiple sclerosis; the burden on national health budgets is staggering – rising to more than 800 billion euro a year in direct and indirect costs such as lost earnings and lost tax revenues.
Commenting on the new report, EBC President Professor David Nutt said: “Up to eight out of ten people affected by brain disorders remain untreated, even though effective treatments exist in many cases. Inequality of access to treatment is a growing problem and knows no borders.”
“We must address the treatment gap. Differentiated access to healthcare should no longer exist in 21st century Europe – European citizens have a right to the treatment they need,” added Ann Little, President of the European Federation of Neurological Associations (EFNA).
EBC says the European Commission has significantly increased funding for research on brain diseases, with 5.3 billion euro ear-marked between 2007 and 2017.
Professor Günther Deuschl, President of the European Academy of Neurology, reviewed recent advances in the treatment of several neurological disorders including multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and in particular stroke: “We need to disseminate the accessibility of thrombolytic therapy and intravascular thrombectomy to every city in Europe.”
The report highlights the need for early intervention and detection. Timely intervention brings measurable health gains such as improved survival rates, reduced complications and disability, better quality of life and lower treatment costs.
In addition to epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis, the Value of Treatment report also assesses the full scale of unmet healthcare needs in Europe regarding schizophrenia, headache, stroke, Parkinson`s disease, restless legs syndrome and normal pressure hydrocephalus.
- – Invest in more basic and clinical & translational neuroscientific research
- – Increase brain disease awareness, patient empowerment and training for health care providers at all levels of care
- – Address prevention and timely intervention as a priority based on needs
- – Address health care services delivery and support clear patient pathways
- – Foster seamless care through validated models of care & tools implementation, legislation and incentives