In Sickness and in Health. The Future of Medicine: Added Value and Global Access


Crosstalks Publications

 You can BROWSE THIS BOOK on Google Books!

In 2005, right after the release of the first CROSSTALKS publication ‘How Open is the Future?’, CROSSTALKS started developing a project aiming at an open and interdisciplinary dialogue between all stakeholders in health care. Through a series of introductory workshops, we explored the future role, price setting, access to and added value of medicines. An accompanying committee was set up and a three-year project was defined, funded by unconditional grants from Astra Zeneca Foundation, GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen Pharmaceutica, Pfizer, UCB and Vrije Universiteit Brussel. The project started officially in 2006 with a first congress and a series of thematic brainstorms and workshops to which all stakeholders were invited.

The ambitious aim was to establish non-mediated and constructive dialogues beyond all the disciplines and organizations involved focusing on the future role and added value of medicines. In parallel, we wanted to construct, gradually, a culture of exchange towards a sustainable and efficient health care. Thus the project set out from a bottom-up and open dialogue between universities, industry, sickness funds, health care providers, physicians, pharmacists, knowledge centers, professional health organizations and policy makers. This cross-disciplinary approach is key to give an incentive to an integrated and a more cost-balanced and qualitative cure and care.


[...] Throughout the years we did succeed in establishing a constructive, trust-based open communication between the major stakeholders in health care in Belgium, although we have to continue working on a systematic engagement of all the mutualities, enhancing the dialogue with Wallonia and engaging the representatives of doctors and patients. The results of the constructive interactions manifested themselves in new and various collaborations between
the participants and in mind-broadening perspectives on issues like:

− the respective responsibilities of all stakeholders and partners in health care;
− the socio-economic conditions to meet the global need for innovation;
− the common objectives and shared risks in order to render the overall model of health care more transparent and efficient;
− the explicitness of the contrary interests of the different actors in the field and to take these into account during the process of sustainable policy making.

Even more tangible is this present collection of strong and sometimes contesting perspectives, expressed by key players in Belgium, Europe and beyond.
‘In Sickness and in Health’ presents the particular needs, challenges and aspirations, common aims and perspectives that emerged or were confirmed during the many interactions and workshops.

Setting the agenda for further collaborations, is yet another step. Hence we will start exploring new border-crossings from mid-2009 on, this time zooming in on the urgent need for more transparency between all stakeholders. A transparency that imposes itself every time that concrete action plans are discussed in order to achieve the common goals ahead of us in health care: affordable access to medicines, qualitative cure and care and encouraging innovation and competitiveness. It is exceptional when scientific experts from competing pharmaceutical companies and academic departments come together not only to share their latest findings on human diseases and treatments, but also to discuss their personal vision of the many complexities in health care. And that is exactly what we want to achieve. We are convinced that there are no shortcuts to true innovation and long-term policy making. In the meantime, we want to offer you these emerging visions as a stepping stone to the next chapter in this constructive CROSSTALKING.



People want to live longer and remain healthy. Through series of seminars, workshops and publications from 2005 to 2008, CROSSTALKS gave an incentive to a more integrated and more efficient health care, starting from the challenges to accessible and safe medicine for everybody.
Health is not a matter of politics only, health care is. Through a continuing process of exchange, CROSSTALKS wants to generate a growth model with added value for all the stakeholders in health care. A crucial factor in this project is the open collaboration and knowledge exchange between academics, the corporate world, doctors, pharmacists, patients, sickness funds, social partners and politicians.

About the editor
Marleen Wynants is an independent publicist with a master in Germanic Languages and in Audio-visual Communication Media from KULeuven. She started working as a music producer and content researcher for the official Belgian Radio and Television in its pre-commercial stage. Since 1984 she has written articles and columns for the major media groups and magazines in Belgium, focusing on ICT, art and science. At present she is the director of CROSSTALKS, the university and industry network of Vrije Universiteit Brussel – Together with Jan Cornelis she co-edited the CROSSTALKS books ‘How open is the Future?’ (2005) and ‘Brave New Interfaces’ (2007).

Editorial board
Lieven Annemans, Marc Bogaert, Alain Dupont, Sara Engelen, Joeri Guillaume, Marc Noppen


IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH. The Future of Medicine: Added Value and Global Access.

Table of contents
Table of contents


1. The future of health care – A global perspective
Tikki Pangestu, Director Research Policy & Cooperation (RPC/EIP), World Health Organization
2. Unmet medical needs: Only cooperation between all partners will lead to solutions
Paul Stoffels, Company Group Chairman Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development/Chairman of Tibotec
3. Access to innovative medicines and orphan drugs
Alain Dupont, Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy and Medicine, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
4. The increasing need for independent research
Silvio Garattini, Founder and Director of the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research, Milano
5. The cost and added value of personalized medicine
Jacques De Grève, Head of the Medical Oncology Dept UZ Brussel
6. Breaking the deadlock of budgetary autism: What are the paradigms for future health care organization in Belgium?
Marc De Vos, General Director of the Itinera Institute & Brieuc Van Damme, Junior Fellow Itinera Institute


7. Willingness to pay and solidarity
Erik Schokkaert, Director of the Center for Economics and Ethics, KULeuven
8. Notes from a traveler on the road to cell therapy in diabetes
Daniel Pipeleers, Director Diabetes Research Center Vrije Universiteit Brussel
9. Sharing responsibility in the discovery, development and delivery of medicines: A roundtable session about the actual challenges and potential added value of an industry in transition
Marleen Wynants, CROSSTALKS Operational Director
10. Why health care systems are not patient-centered and what this means
Max Baumann, Co-founder and member of the Board of Dialog Ethik (Interdisciplinary Institute for Health Care Ethics/Zurich)
11. Physicians and the pharmaceutical industry: A sensitive issue
Marc Bogaert, Professor Emeritus and former Dean of the Faculty of Medicine of UGent


12. Common goals to guarantee accessible health care:
A potential win-win situation or just a (bad) dream?
Guy Peeters, General Secretary of the National Association of Socialist Mutualities
13. Co-payment and future socio-fiscal models
Orvill Adams & Vern Hicks, Orvill Adams & Associates
14. Why we need a new approach to pharmaceutical innovation:
A pragmatic answer to a moral question
Thomas Pogge, Professor of Philosophy and International Affairs at Yale University and Research Director at the Centre for the Study of Mind in Nature, University of Oslo & Doris Schroeder, Head of Centre and Professor of Moral Philosophy, Centre for Professional Ethics, University of Central Lancashire
15. Challenges and opportunities of cancer clinical research at
pan-European level
Françoise Meunier, Director General of EORTC, European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer
16. Open source drug discovery: The Tropical Disease Initiative
Sara Engelen, CROSSTALKS Production Assistant & Marc A. Marti-Renom, Head of the Structural Genomics Unit of the Bioinformatics Department, Prince Felipe Research Center


Cradle to Grave
Susie Freeman, David Critchley & Liz Lee

List of pictures


Order your copy at VUBPRESS, online at
or via e-mail to