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MEPs restrict child-friendly tobacco products

26.02.14 @ 18:26

New EU-wide rules to curb smoking are likely to be adopted over the summer as MEPs backed a bill on Wednesday (26 February) to restrict tobacco use, flavourings, adverts, and the sale of electronic cigarettes. With some ...

Greece and creditors guilty of 'denialism' over public health crisis

21.02.14 @ 18:45

The Greek government and its creditors are guilty of "denialism" about the scale of the public health crisis caused by the country's harsh austerity programme, leading international medical researchers have claimed. A ...

First EU citizens' initiative calls for right to water

17.02.14 @ 20:47

EU law should guarantee the right to water and sanitation, the first valid EU citizens’ initiative has said. It also called for water services not to face liberalisation, collecting 1.8 million signatures after a ...

EU ditches plan to regulate on shale gas

22.01.14 @ 17:35

The European Commission has backed away from tabling new laws to regulate shale gas extraction, choosing to leave national governments in charge on the controversial practice. Instead, the EU executive proposed a set of ...

EU lawmakers agree tobacco bill

18.12.13 @ 18:41

EU lawmakers reached an agreement on the new tobacco products bill after negotiators clashed on electronic cigarettes earlier in the week. “It’s a happy day for anybody who wants to fight the use of tobacco,” EU ...

MEPs back higher medical safety standards following PIP scandal

22.10.13 @ 18:53

Medical devices ranging from pacemakers to breast implants will be subject to stricter controls under rules agreed by MEPs on Tuesday (22 October). Deputies voted by a large majority to support two new laws covering ...

Europe's city dwellers at high risk of pollution exposure

15.10.13 @ 20:33

Over 90 percent of people living in Europe's cities are exposed to high levels of dangerous air pollutants, according to research by the EU's environment watchdog. The findings are part of the annual 'Air Quality in ...

MEPs approve disputed tobacco law

08.10.13 @ 18:53

The European Parliament on Tuesday (8 October) backed rules to tighten the marketing and labelling of tobacco products, but the original European Commission proposal was substantially weakened in the process. The ...

Tobacco giant spent up to €1.25mn on EU lobbying in 2012

03.10.13 @ 19:00

Tobacco giant Philip Morris International (PMI) was said to have spent €1.5 million on lunches and dinners in an effort to woo MEPs into weakening the revised EU legislation on tobacco products up for a vote at the next ...

Northern Europe best region in the world for elderly

02.10.13 @ 09:20

Sweden, Norway and Germany are the best places in the world for elderly people when it comes to healthcare, pensions and an environment allowing them to still be active, according to Global Age Watch a first-ever study ...

EU commission attacks 'legal highs'

17.09.13 @ 20:03

The European Commission has proposed to make it easier to ban "legal highs" and for countries to jail people who ignore the bans. Legal highs are chemicals which replicate the effects of illicit drugs such as cocaine, ...

Tobacco firms under fire for EU lobbying

12.09.13 @ 09:28

Lobbying by companies such as Philip Morris risks harming the EU's new anti-tobacco law, senior policy makers have said. Lithuania's health minister, Vytenis Andriukaitis, in charge of steering the bill through the EU ...

Tobacco lobbying derails MEP vote

09.09.13 @ 09:29

Intense tobacco lobbying in Brussels may have derailed a key vote among Euro-deputies to restrict the sale and distribution of the product. Deputies were set to vote on a tobacco products directive this week in a wider ...

Nordic countries score high on social justice

17.07.13 @ 10:13

Scandinavian countries have the most equitable societies in Europe, according to research by the Bertelsmann Foundation, a German-based think tank. They found the strongest social cohesion in Denmark, Norway, Finland ...

MEPs crack down on cigarette advertising

12.07.13 @ 09:37

Health warnings must cover at least 75 percent of the surface of cigarette packs, according to the European Parliament's public health committee. In a bid to dissuade the young from taking up the habit, lawmakers voted ...

EU ministers endorse ban on menthol cigarettes

21.06.13 @ 19:10

EU ministers of health have reached political agreement to strengthen EU tobacco legislation in an effort to curb the number of smokers. “I do believe that this is truly an important step because it is about stopping ...

EU fines Danish pharma-giant in first 'pay for delay' case

20.06.13 @ 09:44

The European Commission has fined Danish pharmaceutical firm Lundbeck €93.8 million, saying it paid rival companies to delay production of generic versions of anti-depressant medication Citalopram. It is the first "pay ...

FocusHeart of the matter: who owns your health data?

03.05.13 @ 09:24

The titanium metal box implanted inside Hugo Campos' chest keeps him alive. The size of a wristwatch, the €20,000 gadget houses a generator, circuitry and a battery with thin wires attached directly to the Californian's ...

Olaf leak: no clear evidence against Dalli

29.04.13 @ 14:00

EU anti-fraud office Olaf had no hard evidence that former health commissioner John Dalli tried to solicit a bribe from a tobacco firm. The information comes from its confidential report into the Dalli case, part of ...

From Dalligate to Olafgate: supervisors condemn EU anti-fraud office

23.04.13 @ 10:53

The EU anti-fraud office, Olaf, violated its mandate and broke EU laws in its "Dalligate" probe, according to a leaked report by its own supervisors. The leaked paper - a five-page executive summary of a more extensive ...

OpinionWhy are our medicines so expensive?

12.04.13 @ 09:15

In the lead-up to an inter ministerial meeting between EU and India next week, European trade negotiators continue to pressure India and other developing countries to accept so-called “free trade” agreements that favour ...

European health improvements unequal, WHO says

13.03.13 @ 09:22

Europeans are living longer but health inequalities between men and women, countries and population segments are in some cases getting worse. The conclusions were made by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in its ...

Question marks over EU register of bad doctors

01.03.13 @ 11:22

In recent years, cases of doctors who are guilty of malpractice and then migrate to other European countries to continue their practice have been causing public outrage. Now, the European Commission wants to install a ...

EU tobacco lobbying is 'David vs. Goliath'

26.02.13 @ 09:26

The tobacco industry in Brussels spends over €5 million a year and employs around around 100 full-time lobbyists to influence EU legislation, says an anti-smoking advocacy group. “These figures are only the tip of the ...

FeatureTuberculosis - an old plague comes back stronger

25.02.13 @ 09:07

Over the course of two weeks in 2011, Stefan Radut lost seven kilos in weight. He coughed constantly. He was chronically tired and had difficulty sleeping. His girlfriend finally persuaded him to go to a doctor. There ...

Traceability of goods must improve, says EU

13.02.13 @ 18:57

Any non-food product sold in the EU must be traceable and labelled with the name and address of its manufacturer. The rules are part of a larger safety and market surveillance package put forward on Wednesday (13 ...

EU to ban menthol cigarettes, impose scary pictures

19.12.12 @ 17:29

All cigarette packs in the EU from 2015 onward will be plastered with images of diseased body parts, menthol, vanilla and slim cigarettes will be banned, while snus - a type of mouth tobacco - will not be sold outside ...

FocusDisability in figures

22.11.12 @ 13:14

People from Malta are least likely to say they have health problems that limit their daily activities. In 2011, almost 88 out of 100 told EU pollsters they were fine. In contrast, only 64 percent of Slovenes did and - ...

Left-wing MEPs unimpressed by Borg

15.11.12 @ 09:28

Euro deputies have given mixed views on Tonio Borg, Malta’s candidate for EU commissioner on health and consumer affairs. Socialist group leader Hannes Swoboda said on Wednesday (14 November) his group would support ...

Would-be commissioner takes step toward EU approval

14.11.12 @ 09:38

A leading critic of Malta's would-be EU commissioner has said he will back him after his answers on gay rights at a European Parliament hearing. British centre-left MEP Michael Cashman - who co-chairs parliament's gay ...

Borg woos left-wing vote in EU parliament

12.11.12 @ 09:28

Malta's would-be EU commissioner, Tonio Borg, has tried to dispel his image as a Roman Catholic hardliner in a bid to win MEPs' approval. The 55-year-old politician said in his written reply to a European Parliament ...

EU freezes tobacco law after lobbying scandal

17.10.12 @ 18:06

The European Commission has frozen work on its new anti-tobacco law, despite warnings it is falling into a tobacco industry trap. Spokeswoman Pia Ahrenkilde-Hansen said on Wednesday (17 October) that internal talks on ...

EU commissioner resigns in tobacco-lobby dispute

16.10.12 @ 18:49

EU health commissioner John Dalli has resigned "to defend his reputation" in a dispute on tobacco lobbying. The European Commission said its top Maltese official stepped down on Tuesday (16 October) after his boss, Jose ...

Drug supplies to EU crisis countries at risk, warn health analysts

23.08.12 @ 20:42

Speculators are threatening the supply of medication to countries worst hit by the sovereign debt crisis, according to research by business analysts GlobalData. GlobalData's report, published Wednesday (22 August) ...

FocusCommission accused of censorship

15.06.12 @ 18:45

The European Commission on Friday (15 June) was accused of censorship for omitting from a report on men's health issues such as homosexuality, condom use, divorce and suicide. The commission, for its part, denies any ...

Commission to re-write rules following PIP breast implant scandal

15.06.12 @ 09:33

The European Commission has promised to re-write EU legislation on medical devices to avoid a repeat of the breast implant scandal involving now defunct French-firm Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) which emerged last year. ...

Europeans cannot shake suicidal habit

31.05.12 @ 09:16

It killed 695,000 people in the EU last year. But despite restaurant bans and gruesome health labels, the number of smokers is hardly going down. A European Commission survey published for the UN's international anti- ...

FocusBelgian trades EU for US to build Star Trek medical device

15.03.12 @ 09:44

Start Trek fans will know about the Tricorder, a handheld device used by Captain Kirk and company to, among other things, scan the biological state of the living creatures they encountered on their interplanetary voyage ...

FocusThe EU and e-health: a European disease

14.03.12 @ 09:01

Healthcare, strictly speaking, is none of the EU's business. It is a sensitive issue that member states have largely preferred to keep in their own hands. They have allowed the EU to do little more than "support, co- ...

FocusPrivacy fears hang over EU-wide patient data system

13.03.12 @ 09:27

A man from Italy enters a pharmacy in Athens, Greece, to get some medication. Only, he has no prescription. Oh no! Fortunately, he has an e-prescription. A what? An e-prescription, an online prescription saved under his ...

FocusHealthcare without borders

12.03.12 @ 08:29

The town hospital of Guriceel, in the Galguduud region in central Somalia, is understaffed. The doctors who once worked there have all but fled the fighting that has afflicted the country for decades. Those who remain ...

FocusE-health business is good business

09.03.12 @ 09:46

Early investors in Zenicor, a Swedish medical technology company founded in 2003, are probably congratulating themselves on their foresight. "Over the last three years, we have had an annual growth of more than 50 ...

FocusE-health

07.03.12 @ 17:36

E-health is already the third largest sector in the healthcare industry after pharmaceuticals and medical devices. With new technology fundamentally changing doctor-patient relations and posing new questions on privacy, ...

FocusPutting the 'e' in e-health

07.03.12 @ 17:03

The 'e' for electronic has become a familiar sight in front of words like mail, book, or commerce, but health has long been spared the token affix of the digital age. Until recently that is. Now e-health has arrived and ...

FocusPower to the patient

07.03.12 @ 16:31

Doctors, it is said, are not exactly what might be called early adopters of new technologies. It took them almost a generation to get used to the stethoscope after it was invented in the early 19th century. Today, they ...

Breast implants scandal to see tougher EU legislation

02.02.12 @ 19:29

The European commission aims to strengthen oversight of companies that certify medical devices following a breast implant scandal thought to have affected at least 400,000 women worldwide. The low-grade breast implants ...

VideoMental health problems on the rise during financial crisis

22.12.11 @ 17:06

The number of suicides in Greece reached a pan-European high during the first half of 2011, according to figures recently released by the Greek health ministry. Experts believe the increase is due to the effects of the ...

Spending cuts undermine healthcare in eastern EU countries

07.12.11 @ 09:28

Austerity measures in former Communist EU countries have taken a heavy toll on underpaid and overworked doctors, with a state of emergency still ongoing in Slovakia after a mass walk-out. The Slovak government is to ...

AgendaThis WEEK in the European Union

02.12.11 @ 18:37

Almost every week for months now has appeared to be a crunch week for the eurozone, but with lending between banks freezing up, contagion spreading to Germany, and even the circumspect EU economy chief Olli Rehn ...

FocusAustrian city wins EU disability award amid gloom over social cuts

02.12.11 @ 10:30

In a faint note of optimism at a gloomy conference in Brussels on the effects the crisis is having on the lives of people with disabilities, the Austrian city of Salzburg on Thursday (1 December) was declared the most ...