AI and Medicines policy work at Health Action International has, with the help of consultant Hannah van Kolfschooten, accelerated over the past year.

Over the course of a busy and exciting 2022, the team has been engaged in a number of activities.

Advocated for a health-centric AI Act

We raised awareness of the lack of regulation of health AI and consideration of patient rights in the European Union’s (EU) AI Act regulatory proposal, advocated with Member of the European Parliament and their teams to realise a health-centric AI Act, and have spoken at several events.

Some of the materials we produced to this end include:

Co-lead a Thematic Network on AI and health inequality

In collaboration with Brunel University, we were also granted the opportunity to deliver a Joint Statement on AI and Health Inequality to the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Health, DG Santé. Building on this in 2023, we will convene several public webinars and aspire to receive input from a wide range of stakeholders. We will be drafting the statement which will be presented to the European Commission. Keep an eye on our social media channels to be informed of webinar dates!

Joined the EMA Multistakeholder group on digital tools for medicine risk minimisation

Through this multistakeholder group, we can provide input on the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) guidance on using digital tools to provide patient information on medicines.

Conducted research on AI in pharmaceutical promotion

Pharmaceutical promotion is an area in which AI and big data are increasingly used. We fear such use will exacerbate existing risks of biased prescription practices, increase health systems’ pharmaceutical expenditure and harm patient outcomes.

Connected with many other organisations in the AI/digital rights ecosystem

We have connected with many organisations in the field, a highlight of which was a two-day meeting organised by the European AI Fund in Brussels on November 22-23. This will hopefully kickstart many new collaborative efforts.

Explored opportunities for scientific work on AI in clinical trials with King’s College London.

We can’t wait to formalise our collaboration on this important topic in 2023.

How can you contribute?

If you’re interested in following and proving input for the process, we hope to welcome contributions from a diverse set of stakeholders. You can register for the EU Health Policy Platform which will be the space through which input to the statement is gathered.

Finally, HAI has also been granted the renewal of our AI grant.

This allows us to continue our work on AI and Medicines policy until June 2024. We’re extremely grateful to the European AI Fund for their willingness to continue their support for the programme and are looking forward to another productive year, in which we’ll strive for trustworthy and patient-centric AI in healthcare.

We are looking forward to continuing and expanding on these activities in the year ahead!