#04 Workshop with Claude Le Pen (Science & Industry Lunch 4)


29 Nov 2007


From 2005 until 2009, CROSSTALKS ran a bottom-up and interdisciplinary project “The Future of Medication in a Patient-centered Health Care”, a series of conferences and workshops to develop constructive dialogues between all the partners in the health care sector.

Crucial in this project was the collaborative partnership and sharing of knowledge between academics, industry, physicians, pharmacists, patients, sick funds and insurances, health and social care organizations and policymakers.


09:30 Registration & Coffee

10:00 Towards another market or other business model for health and medical care - Prof Claude Le Pen (EURIsCO, LEGOS, Paris IX University - Dauphine, France)

10:40 Social policy decision methods - Jan Van Emelen (Independent Mutualities)What are the actual and future decision methods and criteria used in refunding? Who decides? Based on what kind of mechanisms, arguments? What about the thin border between medicineand products that are optimizing health?

11:20 Coffee

11:40 Panel discussion with speakers and invited discussants with Marleen Finoulst (journalistBodytalk, Knack) and Tania Platteeuw (Yakult, Science Department)

13:00 Standing Lunch and Networking in CONVIVIUM next to the students restaurant

Bios / Slides

Claude Le Pen is professor of economics at Paris-Dauphine University and former dean of the Department of Applied Economics (1990-1995). He is director of the postgraduate program on "Economics and Management of Health Care Organizations".   He studied business administration in HEC business school in Paris and holds a doctorate in Economics from Panthéon-Sorbonne University. He specialized in health economics in 1985. He was appointed as member of several state commissions within the Ministry of Health, namely the "Transparency Commission" for evaluation of pharmaceutical products (1989-92), the National Health Account Commission (1992-1995), the task force for guidelines in economic evaluation of medical technologies, the Committee for the accreditation of physicians' networks (1997-2000), the Commission for national tariff of medical procedures (2004). He is non executive member of the board of the CNAMTS [the main public health insurance fund in France (2003), and expert to the Parliamentary Office for Health Policy Evaluation] (2003). He also acts as expert for the European Union and was rapporteur of a working party preparing the round-tables on the Completion of the Single Market for Pharmaceuticals (1996-1998). He chairs the Health Insurance Study Group of Institut Montaigne, a think-tank on public policy sponsored by a group of major companies in France. He is member of the board of the "College des Economistes de la Santé" and member of editorial or scientific boards of several scientific journals. Apart from his academic position, Claude Le Pen is also the Scientific Director of AREMIS Consultant, a leading consultancy company in the field of health economics and health management in France. He wrote several books, the last one, published in 2004, co-authored with Didier Sicard, President of the National Commission of Medical Ethics. He authored or co-authored more than one hundred of scientific papers published in domestic and international peer-review journals.

Jan Van Emelen (MD) graduated in 1975 as a gynecologist at the KULeuven, and ever since never stopped educating himself in various aspects of health care, such as tropical diseases, nutrition, statistics and epidemiology, decision making in health care and labor medicine. He started his career working as a    physician in Congo, Pakistan and Ecuador working for ABOS (the Belgianl administration for development cooperation), WHO and Development Assistance, a research unit on development studies. From 2001 on, he has been assigned as governmental advisor and expert at the department of Social Affairs and Public Health. Since 2003, Jan Van Emelen is Director of the Strategic Studies and Communication Department of the Independent Mutualities, where he coordinates and supervises studies (in collaboration with other parties) on health care and health care systems. Part of his job is creating and developing new, complementary insurance products. He is responsible for the communication towards the entire member community of the 7 independent sickness funds, as well as the government and health care providers.

Marleen Finoulst graduated as a physician at KULeuven in 1987. She worked as a phycisian and development worker in Congo. From 1990 on, she combined her profession as physician ad interim with a parttime job as medical journalist. In 1993 she fully chose for journalism, writing both for medical press and general media.   She participated in various health care related radio and television programs, such as "Huisraad", "Zonder Voorschrift", "Open op zondag" and "Hoe?Zo!". She is author and co-author of numerous publications on health care, such as "Vrouwen, humeuren en hormonen", "De borstkankerplaag", "Allergie en Milieu", "De prostaat", "Lust en leed" and "De pikorde". She also published the "critical medication guide for the consumer" for Test-Aankoop. Currently she is a fixed member of the editorial board of Knack and Trends and chief editor of Bodytalk, an independent magazine on health and psychology.

Tania Platteeuw is educated as a dietician. After working in a hospital during one year, she started as a dietician with Yakult, where she is now for more than 10 years. She is assigned at the science and public relations department as communication officer, addressing consumers, press and health.


On the 29th of November 2007 CROSSTALKS organized the last workshop of this year on the notion of the thinning borders between health and wellness and the inclination towards a more consumer driven attitude with regard to health care.

Health care expenses will continue to rise. And that's a good thing, says Professor in Economic Sciences Claude Le Pen, the first speaker of the day. Managing health care expenses doesn't mean decreasing them since more development means unavoidably a higher health care budget. What is important is making the right choices and allowing growth where it is most needed. We have to make the difference between the social and functional health and biological health. According to Le Pen we spend money to save lives in countries where life has a value. So the investment in health care is in tune with the value of a human life (about 3,5 million euro in the Western world). Health care is also a substitute for the falling birth rate, states Le Pen. In his talk he continued to raise crucial issues, going from the fact that doctors depend more and more on their patients and not the other way round and that the community feeling of patients and victims of medical errors is increasing since they want to protect themselves against health care professionals. There is also the increasing role of associations versus authorities and the evidence based or quality control movement. The state wants health care but the management could be better - since now the care is managed by rules, not by competition. Some countries try new models and distance themselves from any association with a welfare state. It proves to be cheaper and based on solidarity. In his conclusion Le Pen focused on two issues: first on the fact that health care should concentrate on promoting efficiency rather than cutting costs and second on the fact that however important prevention may be, the notion of prevention is not rational since we value the presence more than the future. But what is more, is that prevention may not even be the most cost-efficient way to deal with health at all.... Food for thought.

Jan Van Emelen of the Independent Mutualities started with the reflection that a less expensive and more accessible health care should be the major challenge, resulting in a 50/50 balance of public and private payments whereas the balance at the moment is 70% public and 30% private. Another challenge should be the prevention of the five major chronic diseases - diabetes, obesitas, cardiovascular disease, lung diseases and mental illness. Changing the paradigm is crucial: screen for risks, not for diseases. According to Van Emelen we have to shift to the empowerment of the patient. Another necessary measure is the defining of an individual health plan and a higher refunding for people who actually do it and follow it. An economic incentive at this level is mandatory.

The discussion afterwards was initiated by Marleen Finoulst (journalist Bodytalk and Knack) and Tania Platteeuw (Yakult).


This project could be realized due to unconditional grants by

Astra Zeneca Foundation
Janssen Pharmaceutica