This winner of this year’s ECFS award is Dr Carlo Castellani from the Verona Cystic Fibrosis Centre.
Accepting his award at last night’s opening plenary session Castellani told delegates he chose the title of his acceptance speech In varietate concordia (united in diversity) because it’s the motto of the EU.
“It seemed quite reasonable to use it here in Brussels but it seems to me the emphasis is more on the diversity than on the united,” he told a packed room of chuckling delegates.
It wasn’t so in the CF community and the ECSF however, which were both great examples of people from different backgrounds and nationalities sharing their experiences.
“The reason that I am here today to receive this award has come from the help of many people and combined efforts to work together.”
Talking to delegates about the differences in standards of care across countries Castellani warned that in coming years we might face a scenario that has the potential to deepen these inequalities.
Modulators will occupy the CF therapeutic scene in the next years, he told delegates.
“These medicines are extremely expensive and have huge potential to change or improve substantially life expectancy, survival, quality of life,” he said.
They cannot be substituted by another cheaper equivalent and many countries were already finding them unaffordable.
“I think that if we really believe in standards of care then it is important not to forget that inequalities exist,” he told delegates.
“In order to reduce that we must work all together — patients and their associations and health professionals and scientists, regulatory agencies and pharma companies.”