MNI has set its priorities in its 5-year strategy, launched in February 2023. They are the illustration of MNI’s vision and mission translated into actional objectives.
There are three main priorities (see below) and two cross-sectional objectives and means: communication and advocacy (regulatory affairs) to apply through all priorities.
Strategic priority 1: Raising the importance of Medical Nutrition (MN) in the care pathway
Medical nutrition (MN) improves patient outcomes and nutritional interventions result in better health outcomes. It leads to fewer complications and decreases the use of healthcare resources for European healthcare systems. MNI will raise awareness on the importance of MN in the care pathway, focussing on key EU initiatives.
MNI, together with its partners, informs and educates people about medical nutrition, so that nutritional care is a prerequisite for proper treatment. MNI seeks to mobilise the power of patients, politicians and healthcare professionals’ opinions in support of MN through:
- Ensuring that nutritional care is a key component of the patient pathway to recovery in specific diseases through recommendations, policy papers, EU legislation, guidelines, position papers and meetings where care and health systems are assessed and improved.
- Communication campaigns, conferences, congresses and other public events, publications, working with the media and dispensing awards.
- Raising awareness among policymakers and key third-party stakeholders around the necessity and value of MN, including via educational webinars and information sessions.
Strategic priority 2: Safeguarding and enhancing patient access of MN in the European Union
MNI promotes equal access to medical products. All EU citizens have equal rights to care/treatment; MNI supports this by striving for self-sufficiency of nutritional care in Europe and beyond. This entails the availability and accessibility of products to all patients who need them in Europe, through availability of the products, reimbursement, and the demonstration of “value for money”.
MNI aims for a stable and balanced framework for reimbursement of medical nutrition and market access policies that ensure patients get timely access to the MN products they need, whilst safeguarding the sustainability of our healthcare systems.
Therefore, MNI will ensure that decision-makers and payers are aware of the importance of access to MN. MNI will highlight its value both for the patients and in relation to health systems sustainability and resilience:
- Patients: getting the right nutritional care in a timely manner is a human right – patients’ MN needs should always be assessed to help reduce medical complications and support recovery. MNI will advocate for safe, adequate, monitored and affordable nutritional care access for all patients who need it throughout the patient care pathway from hospital to home care. This includes the right diagnosis (systematic screening for malnutrition risk on admission/start of treatment for any co-morbidity to allow timely malnutrition diagnosis) and right treatment (based on the latest evidence-base guidelines and recommendations).
- Economic value: MNI will ensure that decision-makers and HCPs take into account the substantial financial costs of DRM and their avoidance through proper MN; hospital-acquired conditions, readmissions, and prolonged lengths of stay are costly and a burden on health systems that could be avoided with proper management and treatment.
- MNI will highlight the importance of ensuring equitable access to MN for all, irrespective of the patients’ locations or social situation: MNI will support initiatives towards better reimbursement policies favouring the uptake of the treatments (thanks to their affordability) throughout Europe.
- MNI will be involving patient and medical (hospital) organisations: patients’ care and wellbeing are the ultimate goal of all MNI members’ operations. MNI maintains ongoing relations with patient and hospital organisations to ensure that their needs are understood and taken into account. MNI will help its members in navigating this constantly evolving environment through advocacy and legal support.
Strategic priority 3: Ensuring the proper (clinical) use of MN
MNI is focused on promoting evidence-based medicine and the latest scientific developments, together with their implementation, via specialist HCPs – thereby ensuring the proper use of MN.
This involves the following aspects:
- Training and education of HCPs, to ensure that MN is part of their curriculum and professional expertise.
- Promoting and assessing patients’ adherence to MN throughout their care.
- Promoting the development of multi-disciplinary teams, including dietitians and nutritionists.
- Supporting research and scientific societies.
MN is regulated at EU level through specific legislation on Food for Special Medical Purposes (FSMPs) for oral products and pharmaceutical rules for parenteral products. EU regulations on medical devices and in-vitro devices also impact MNI members, although members have not given MNI a mandate to closely follow this dossier. MNI will closely monitor potential changes in the EU legislation affecting the sector to:
- Inform its members in a timely manner.
- Consult members and desired actions to address the said changes.
- Advocate for changes to fit the medical nutrition industry and patients’ needs.
MNI members provide nutritional products of high quality and endeavour collectively to ensure the sustainable supply of medical nutrition products in all situations through business continuity. To this end, MNI will ensure (in cooperation with similar organisations) that the regulatory framework for all matters related to medical nutrition is fit for purpose and that regulations at the EU and global levels reflect the latest developments in the field.
To this end, MNI will strive to participate to the European Commission’s undertakings and positions developed and expressed via its Directorate General (DG) Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA), which anticipates threats and potential health crises, through intelligence gathering and building the necessary response capacities. The goal will be to ensure that MN is part of contingency planning and crisis preparedness, and that pan-European solutions are put forward to the benefits of all patients in the EU.
In addition, MNI will advocate for the inclusion of MN in decisions related to the Regulation on the European Health Data Space, in particular through its aim to supports the use of health data for better healthcare delivery, better research, innovation and policy-making.
MNI Five-Year Strategy 2023-2027
MNI is proud to present the MNI Strategy 2023-2027, stating our mission, vision and activities for the coming years. Our mission and vision remain unchanged, but the new Strategy equips MNI to better face current challenges. The Strategy draws conclusion from the current global health context and assesses opportunities for the field of medical nutrition. The Strategy reflects on MNI’s governance, partnerships, membership and internal functioning, reiterating our focus on exchanging best practices and expertise. This will notably be achieved by supporting projects & joint initiatives to reach disease-related malnutrition-friendly policymaking and health systems.