Gravitate-Health, the EU project to simplify drug information

As a result of the outbreak of the pandemic in our lives, interest in health information as a whole has increased: scientific advances, studies, vaccines, medicines, etc., generating in the informant (not only a journalist) a duty not only of responsibility in correctly transmitting knowledge, but also of making it understandable for the lay public, avoiding health risks.

For this purpose, the European Union has just announced the launch of Gravitate-Health, a program that seeks to improve access to and understanding of health-related information, in order to achieve safe use of medicines, minimization of risk and better quality of life for patients. The initiative involves 40 leading partners from civil society, academia and industry from 15 countries, including the Spanish Association of Medicines and Health Products (AEMPS).

The safe use of medicines and adherence to treatment pose a challenge to public health, where understanding and trust play an important role in accessing information. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) estimates that around 200,000 premature deaths per year in Europe are associated with poor adherence to medicines, which can cost up to 125 billion euros per year in avoidable hospitalization, emergency care, and outpatient visits by adults. Information on medicines can be fragmented, unavailable, or unused, resulting in risks of which the user may be unaware, for example, the risk of errors in use that can lead to adverse events, disability, and even death.

Information on medicines is subject to strict regulatory procedures and scientific validation, plays a key role in assisting health professionals in prescribing and dispensing medicines, and informs patients and consumers about their safe use. Currently, patients mainly receive this information in the form of a paper package insert supplied with their medicine. However, the information provided is not always clear, may be outdated or simply not easy to read for many people due to the small size of the print.

Gravitate-Health was created to overcome all these obstacles and to become a digital consultation tool for both patients and physicians. The objective will be that this improvement in information will translate into higher levels of adherence to treatments, safer use of medicines (pharmacovigilance) and better results in the health and quality of life of patients.

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