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30 September 2020


9 people out of 10 die of a chronic disease in Europe

EU summit ncdsThe European Commission organized the first EU Summit on Chronic Diseases on 3 and 4 April. The European Chronic Diseases Alliance (ECDA) welcomes the Commission’s initiative to organize the Summit, which we hope to be a step towards an EU framework to allow the EU to make a significant impact in reaching the United Nations goal of a 25 percent reduction in premature mortality from chronic diseases by 2025.

Chronic diseases are interrelated, have common risk factors and are largely preventable. Yet, in Europe, 9 people out of 10 die of a chronic disease. Chronic diseases carry significant human costs (human suffering, reduced workforce, social exclusion, health inequalities etc.). As a consequence 70% to 80% of healthcare costs are spent on chronic diseases. This corresponds to €700 billion in the European Union and this number is expected to rise in the coming years.1 97% of health expenses are presently spent on treatment, only 3% is invested in prevention.2
Speaking ahead of the Summit, the Acting Chairman of ECDA, Prof Em Norbert Lameire stated:

“The EU needs a framework in order to successfully tackle chronic diseases and such a framework must be developed by 2017 in collaboration with all relevant stakeholders. We strongly believe that this is best the way to achieve the UN targets on reducing deaths from chronic diseases.

Furthermore, one part of the framework, and a way for the European Commission to be proactive on the UN targets, would be for them to make greater use of legal bases and the wide variety of instruments available under the Treaty to improve public health and and support Member State actions.

Click here to download the press release from the European Chronic Diseases Alliance.