by Traugott Ullrich, AESGP President
We will remember 2022 as a year of terrible violence in Europe. For many of us, a full-scale land war was a distant historical memory never to be repeated. This is why the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which left thousands dead, thousands more injured, and millions fleeing their homes and taking refuge in neighbouring countries and further afield was such a great shock.
First and foremost, our thoughts are with the war-affected communities. In the first days and weeks of war, our members offered humanitarian support to the people of Ukraine. This included in-kind donations of medical supplies and wellness products (hygiene, food supplements, etc.) and financial support to international and local NGOs.
With a global public health crisis lasting over two years, a seemingly endless land war at our doorstep, soaring energy prices, and skyrocketing inflation in 2022, we continue to operate in extraordinary times. We are working harder than ever to ensure continuity of supply to meet the self-care needs of everyone in Europe so that the limited resources of healthcare systems are spared for those who need them the most.
At AESGP, we have continued to foster regulatory and policy frameworks suited to the requirements of self-care products. We have also continued to engage in the implementation of the medical device regulation, the preparation for the pharmaceutical legislation revision, and the implementation of a balanced and equitable framework to ensure the availability of safe and beneficial food supplements.
Given the EU’s Green Deal ambition and the consequently considerable number and complexity of environmental initiatives impacting the industry in the short and medium term, the AESGP Board decided to establish a Sustainability Task Force charged with developing an Industry Position on Sustainable Self-Care Products.
Following the work of the Task Force, of which I personally had the pleasure to be part, we are making sustainability an overarching objective and embedding it into our vision. We aspire to lead and champion self-care with the aim of ensuring that people have access to safe and effective self-care products while contributing to the sustainability of European healthcare systems and the environment we live in. To achieve this, we will promote a holistic approach to the sustainable lifecycle management of self-care products, supporting sustainable and transparent management of the ingredients used in self-care products and providing continued support to member companies in sustainable transition to ensure that none is left behind.
Before concluding, I would like to pay tribute to my predecessor, Birgit Schuhbauer, AESGP President from 2016 to 2022. During her tenure, AESGP has undergone leadership and structural changes while maintaining the continuity of our activities. We would not have been able to accomplish this important transition without her wise counsel and patient advice. I am grateful for the time we spent together on both a professional and a personal level.
AESGP was founded 59 years ago in Paris with the ambition of bringing countries and people together to advance health and well-being across borders, to inspire each other and to achieve progress together. As we continue to operate in unprecedented times, this Annual Report highlights the work and leadership of AESGP throughout 2022 in regulatory and policy work undertaken by the board of directors, committees, numerous expert groups and its dedicated staff.