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Succeeding together: UCB joins patients and experts to improve the lives of people with epilepsy

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    People with epilepsy can face stigma and discrimination, limiting their capacity to participate fully in society. UCB Iberia has teamed up with medical, scientific and patient organisations in Spain to tackle this problem.

    The Epilepsy in Action initiative was launched in response to a World Health Assembly resolution in 2015 which encouraged countries to prioritise epilepsy at a national level. The resolution calls for stronger commitment to raising awareness, eliminating stigma, expanding research capability and enhancing access to care.

    These goals fit with our desire to add value for patients and their families by improving their quality of life in a holistic way. The Epilepsy in Action project brings UCB Iberia together with the Spanish Society of Epilepsy (SEEP), the Spanish Society of Pediatric Neurology (SENEP), the Epilepsy Group of the Spanish Society of Neurology (SEN), the Spanish Federation of Epilepsy Patients (FEDE), the Foundation of the Brain and the consultancy EY. The Spanish Society of Health Executives (SEDISA) and the Spanish Society of Hospital Pharmacy (SEFH) also support the initiative, further adding to the diversity and effectiveness of the coalition.

    Epilepsy in Action has analysed the lived reality of epilepsy for people in Spain, exploring the challenges they face and how we can work together to improve their situation. We have produced a detailed report with 22 specific commitments designed to improve epilepsy care, increase the efficiency of the healthcare system, reduce the costs associated with the condition, and improve quality of life. These commitments include actions aimed at health professionals, adult patients, children and society in general.

    The report’s recommendations feature calls for greater specialisation in the management of the disease, a larger network of epilepsy units, access to diagnosis and innovative medicines, and the creation of a patient record.

    The report was presented on National Epilepsy Day at the Embassy of Belgium in Madrid at an event attended by diplomats, policymakers, health professionals, patient representatives and journalists along with members of the UCB Iberia team.  The launch received strong media coverage, reaching almost 5,000,000 readers through 34 published articles.

    We are convinced that this is a great step towards in creating value for patients living with epilepsy in Spain. At UCB Iberia we will continue to work with other stakeholders to implement all the actions highlighted in the Epilepsy in Action report. Through the sustained effort of our broad coalition, we believe we can achieve our shared goal of helping people with epilepsy achieve their full potential.

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Posted by John-Kenneth Billingsley, 03 July 2018 A compelling example of the power of multistakeholder collaboration. Congratulations not only for making a difference for people in Spain who live with epilepsy, but also for providing an excellent example for others around the globe to emulate.