Public healthcare has undergone significant and rapid changes in recent years, and the pace of change continues to accelerate with the emergence of new technologies, regulatory changes, and scientific advancements. Since 1964, the European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines and HealthCare (EDQM) within the Council of Europe has played an important role in shaping this dynamic landscape. The European Pharmacopoeia is a key compendium of standards for medicinal products, to which, as of 2024, 39 member states and over 30 observer countries contribute, underscoring its global significance. Since joining in 2013, Ukraine has been actively participating in these joint efforts.

In 2024, the EDQM and the European Pharmacopoeia celebrate their 60th anniversary. To mark this milestone, a two-day conference titled “Today, Tomorrow, Together” was held on June 11-12, 2024, in Strasbourg, France, gathering members of pharmacopoeial regulatory authorities, industry professionals, scientists, and policymakers to reflect on past achievements and future challenges in the field of healthcare. Key discussions revolved around current public health challenges, the role of new technologies, and the importance of international cooperation. At the invitation of the EDQM director, Natalia VOLOVYK, Deputy Director for Quality at the Ukrainian Scientific Pharmacopoeial Center for Quality, participated in the event.

Welcoming speeches were delivered by Marija PEJČINOVIĆ BURIĆ, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Aurimas PEČKAUSKAS, Vice-Minister of Health of the Republic of Lithuania, Pierre-Alain FRIDEZ, Vice-President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Emer COOKE, Executive Director of the European Medicines Agency (EMA), Rainer BECKER, Director for Medical Products and Innovation, European Commission (virtually), and Petra DOERR, Director of the EDQM, Council of Europe.

This was followed by four interactive sessions in the format of panel discussions on public health, the potential of novel therapies, safe and high-quality medicines, and healthcare products for patients and consumers.

Participants then listened to and discussed presentations by experts on the most pressing topics. Of particular interest were issues related to the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare and the associated hopes and risks, the digitalization of healthcare, the opportunities and implications of biomanufactured organs on demand, and the potential of gene therapy.

Concluding the conference, the EDQM director presented the organization’s strategy for advancing public health.

N. Volovyk thanked the event organizers and emphasized the importance of joint efforts in strengthening public health. She discussed further cooperation and joint initiatives with the European Pharmacopoeia, the United States Pharmacopeia, and the WHO, particularly regarding participation in the development and promotion of new regulatory documents, flexibility in engaging and re-electing experts, and expanding opportunities for scientists to present their work at scientific events held by these pharmacopoeias. She also discussed issues of standardization and certification of biological reference standards with the head of the EDQM department of reference standards.

In summary, the conference underscored the EDQM's role in ensuring the availability of quality and safe medicines, reflecting on its rich history and focusing on leveraging new technologies and collaboration to improve healthcare outcomes on a global level.


EDQM’s 60th Anniversary Celebration


Natalia Volovyk with Petra Doerr, Director of the EDQM


Natalia Volovyk with Jaap Venema, Scientific Director at the US Pharmacopoeia


Natalia Volovyk with Herbert Schmidt, Representative of the World Health Organization


Natalia Volovyk with Stefan Almeling, Head of the Reference Standards Department at the EDQM


Natalia Volovyk with the Division B of the European Pharmacopoeia Department