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HEIDELBERG 12th January 2016 – First Meeting of the European Reference Network for Rare Renal Disease (EuRenNet)
Twenty participants in this first informal meeting of members of the future European reference network for rare kidney disease, from nine countries. The meeting was chaired by Pr. Franz Schaeffer Heidelberg, and was sponsored by the Working Group on Inherited Kidney Diseases of the ERA-EDTA, coordinated by Pr. Olivier Devuyst, Chairman of the FEDERG Scientific Council.

Patients are heavily involved in the preparatory work for future network. FEDERG and three representatives of national associations, federation members, were present at the meeting.

The objective of this meeting was to take stock of the application process, according to the latest instructions issued from the Commission, in particular the “Toolbox” put online on 23rd December 2015.

The meeting has highlighted the challenges that the teams will face for the national accreditation of their reference centers. Much work will have to be done by each center candidate to provide documentation for obtaining highest score on the evaluation criteria of reference centers (Health care providers), which are severe according to the professionals.

The project is then a bet on the future, since there are no European funds to support the network at this stage of the process and because those who have already done a great job for organizing their national reference networks are solicited more, with benefits in other countries.

Although this noble task of solidarity is perceived by everyone as heavy, the participants have formally pronounced for rapid work to enable the network to be ready when the call will be launched in a few weeks.

FEDERG presented the patient organizations perspectives: patient’s organisations are stakeholders for the rare renal ERN, and motivated for its development. They see it as an opportunity to expand access to good health care to all patients in Europe. This is a strong solidarity objective. The principle is that the expertise goes as close to the patient no matter the level of organization of the country in which the patient lives. FEDERG also sees the ERN as a process that will enhance organization of patients across Europe, and yield to greater mobilization for registries and trials with more patients.

In summary: “Better care for all and then better research”

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View of the Participants at the meeting

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FEDERG representatives, de gauche à droite : Daniel Renault (Chair), Claudia Sproedt (Vice-Chair),
Marjolein Storm (NVN), Marjolein Bos (Cystinosis Netherlands & NVN).

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