Epilepsy 1030

50 million people worldwide live with Epilepsy, the sixth neurological disease in terms of mortality, with 400,000 new cases every year only in Europe. It means one new case almost every single minute. 

While at least 15 million European citizens of all ages have had a seizure at some point in their life, Epilepsy can develop in any person at any age and, in around 50% of cases, its cause still remains unknown.  

The stigma surrounding this condition affects the quality of life and social inclusion of people with Epilepsy and their beloved ones. In fact, stigma can delay appropriate healthcare seeking, access to care, and availability of treatment, while institutional discrimination can impact education, employment, marriage and pregnancy, as well as driving regulations. Despite this, very few European countries have national plans for managing this disorder. Hence, it is of pivotal importance to contribute to the implementation of the 10-year Intersectoral Global Action Plan for epilepsy and other neurological diseases (IGAP) to improve the public health approach to epilepsy, increasing service coverage and replacing discriminatory legislation. 

Angelini Pharma strongly believes that a deep understanding of people’s conditions paves the way for greater commitment and better healthcare solutions to provide them for.  

Since entering the epilepsy space in 2021, Angelini Pharma adopted a listening posture towards people living with the disease, with the aim of raising awareness and the intent to acknowledge the daily challenges faced by people with epilepsy and their impact on their quality of life. The main unmet needs widely emerged are inclusion at work, balancing relationships, and accessing treatments.  

At the cornerstone of the company’s commitment in Epilepsy there are multiple educational campaigns to bring more and more awareness on life with epilepsy, collaborating with patients’ associations to amplifying their experiences and needs, listening to their own voice.  

Throughout the years, Angelini Pharma strengthened their relations with patient organizations and contributed to improving exchanges between pharma industry and the patient community. International Bureau for Epilepsy (IBE), the world’s largest patient organization, is a great partner for the company, which supports and amplifies several initiatives promoted by IBE, including the awareness campaign #50MillionSteps against Epilepsy and the resourceful project Women and Epilepsy 

Despite the great need for awareness and better inclusion, which Angelini Pharma keeps doing their best to be vocal about, not many European countries are able to effectively prevent discrimination and provide access to treatment for persons with epilepsy. 

Since 2022, Angelini Pharma promoted a wide, multidisciplinary and multistakeholder initiative: Headway, a new roadmap for Brain Health. "Headway" was conceived and launched in 2017 by the Think Tank The European House Ambrosetti in partnership with the company in the space of mental health, later expanded to encompass Epilepsy as well. It is a platform for strategic reflection, analysis, dialogue and comparison among European experiences in the management of people with mental and neurological disorders, including epilepsy. In its framework, the company annually produces two reports on the state of the management of Brain Health diseases in Europe. In 2023, Angelini Pharma presented them at institutional roundtables across European Countries, namely at the European and local Parliaments, or Italian Embassies in the country, gathering key stakeholders to share and discuss unmet needs, priorities and best practices.  

Only monitoring countries’ responsiveness, assessing trends over time, and comparing healthcare systems it is possible to get a dynamic and comprehensive picture of brain health disorders effects on society. And as a pharma company, Angelini Pharma shall play a key role not only in developing better healthcare solutions, but also to foster policy change by casting a light on real-life needs of people with epilepsy.