As the world is hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, the health and biomedical sector has played an active role in addressing a crisis that has put an increasing number of lives at risk and health systems under severe strain. Among other issues, the health and biomedical sector is currently involved in the adoption of public health measures by national governments to control the spread of infection (including stringent measures confining their population and restricting movements across borders), the development of guidance for health care professionals in providing urgent care in challenging circumstances, Research and Development activities to develop new vaccines, diagnostics and treatments, and cross-sectoral cooperation to address shortages of medical supplies, equipment and medicines. Against this background, the overarching role of the World Health Organisation has been key to responding promptly to this global crisis. European authorities have also complemented these global and national efforts at EU level; however, this crisis has also highlighted the pressing need to strengthen pan-European cooperation in health matters.
View key coronavirus advice and information
View a Statement on Protecting medical personnel from COVID-19 by the FEAM Board –7 April 2020
View a Statement by our President, Professor George Griffin, Emeritus Professor of Infectious Diseases at St. George’, University of London and Fellow of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences (12 March 2020) expressing concerns about the COVID-19 situation and welcoming efforts of the WHO and Eu institution in supporting national authorities and research and medical communities – 12 March 2020
View an Opinion piece ‘Chronicle of a Pandemic Foretold’ by Dr. Andrea Renda (Senior Research Fellow and Head of Global Governance, Regulation, Innovation and Digital Economy, CEPS) and Dr. Rosa Castro (FEAM Senior Scientific Policy Officer) – 23 March 2020
View activities by FEAM Member Academies, other national Academies and sister academic networks
View activities by partners of the FEAM European Biomedical Policy Forum
Quotes by experts from the FEAM academic network
“During COVID-19 outbreak, the continuum of cancer care must be ensured. Despite the lack of evidence of a higher COVID infection rate in cancer patients, the risks of any anti-cancer therapy should be carefully assessed case-by-case. A thorough and rapid reorganization of Institutional clinical activity led medical and radiation oncologists to develop alternative strategies to take care of cancer patients, especially due to the reduced surgical activity secondary to the shortage of ICU beds. The needs of cancer patients cannot wait for the end of the pandemic and require physicians’ commitment more than ever. Cancer care is not a choice.”
Prof Armando Santoro, Scientific Director at AccMed, Humanitas Cancer Center, IRCCS Clinical Institute Humanitas (Milan – Italy)
“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need to adopt a “One Health integrated approach” and my Academy looks forward to contributing to the policy work of FEAM in this field. Developing treatments to respond to the current COVID-19 crisis should be the immediate priority of the biomedical community engagement but it will be important to investigate the zoonotic disease and infection origins of the virus in humans to inform policy-makers on sanitary measures to adopt early on in order to prevent similar outbreaks in the future”.
Prof. Arturo Ramón Anadón Navarro, President of the Royal Academy of Veterinary Sciences of Spain
The AVF – supported by the French Academy of Medicine – calls for the production of large-scale Covid-19 tests in collaboration with French producers of veterinary reagents who have the expertise in the diagnosis of coronavirus infections in animals. The two Academies implement into practice the concept “One health” advocated by international organizations like World Health Organization (WHO) and World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). The National Academy of Medicine therefore recommends French Health Authorities to issue an exceptional authorization to these manufacturers and laboratories in the veterinary sector as part of the current health emergency.
“The AVF urges the health authorities to examine this possibility with the greatest attention. Veterinary medicine represents an important valence of public health as suggested by the ‘One Health’ approach designed to implement programmes, legislation and research values within a multi-sectoral dimension stimulating collaborations to achieve better public health outcomes.”
Prof André Laurent Parodi, Co-Chair FEAM One Health Committee