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The research catalogue is an archive of ESRC-funded grants and outputs. Links, files and other content will no longer be maintained or updated after April 2014.

European Law and New Health Technologies

Health is a matter of fundamental importance in European societies, both as a human right in itself, and as a factor in a productive workforce and therefore a healthy economy. New health technologies promise improved quality of life for patients suffering from a range of diseases, and the potential for the prevention of incidence of disease in the future. At the same time, new health technologies pose significant challenges for governments, particularly in relation to ensuring the technologies are safe, effective, and provide appropriate value for (public) money.

All European governments regulate their development, marketing, and public financing - as do several European level institutions, in particular the European Union, the Council of Europe, and the European Patent Office, have become involved in the regulation of new health technologies. They have done so through traditional ‘command and control’ legal measures, guidelines, soft law, ‘steering’ through redistribution of resources and private or quasi-private regulation.

This project analyses European law - in this broad sense - and its relationships with new health technologies. It uses interdisciplinary insights to shed new light on defining features of the relationship and especially risk, rights, ethics and markets. The project explores the way in which European law’s engagement is to be legitimated, and some of the implications for citizenship.