In Speech to European Commission, Fattah Calls for U.S. to Join International Health Cooperation Efforts

WASHINGTON, Nov. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In a speech to the European Commission today, Congressman Chaka Fattah (PA-02) reiterated American support for international brain research collaboration and pledged his commitment towards engaging the United States in two EU-led initiatives around clinical trials and neurodegenerative diseases.

Speaking live via video to the Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) conference on public health in Brussels, Fattah told the assembled officials that he will push for the U.S. to join the European Union's Joint Programming Initiative on Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND), as well as the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP).

Fattah said he will work with the Administration and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to involve the United States in each of these efforts: "We want the United States to join, and we want to work with you as you go forward."

Both initiatives are globally focused, and center their strategies on sharing techniques and research among participating member countries.  JPND is the largest and most advanced global research initiative designed to tackle neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer's.  In 2012, Israel and Canada were accepted, joining 25 other member countries as partners in the initiative. The EDCTP was launched in 2003 as a European response to the global health crisis caused by HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. Together with its 16 partner countries, EDCTP aims to accelerate the development of new or improved drugs and vaccines against these three main poverty-related diseases. 

In his remarks, Congressman Fattah lauded the extraordinary work of the European Union in its efforts around public health and science research, calling it a "model" for nations around the world to pursue and affirmed the importance of international cooperation.

"We need to have better cooperation and coordination on these [science] efforts," Fattah said. "Relationships have to be built around actual cooperative work." Fattah continued, "I am looking at this issue, not just as an American official, but as a global citizen."

The speech to JRC, the European Commission's in-house scientific research service, was Fattah's third neuroscience speech to an international community in the past six months through his advocacy work as architect of the Fattah Neuroscience Initiative. The initiative, established in 2011, is an innovative, non-incremental policy effort seeking to achieve groundbreaking progress in understanding the human brain.

The two-day conference helped launch JRC's initiative to assemble policymakers, scientists, industries, and patient organizations for a continual dialogue around rallying scientific support to protect citizens, improve health knowledge, eliminate disparities and promote health equity across Europe.

Additional information on the conference is available here: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/jrc/downloads/events/20131114-public-health/20131114-public-health-programme.pdf

SOURCE Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah



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