The EU drugs agency (EMCDDA) and the First Faculty of Medicine of Charles University in Prague will be cooperating in training and research activities in the field of drugs in the future, thanks to a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the two parties today in the Czech capital (1). The signatories were Professor Aleksi Šedo, Dean of the Faculty, and Wolfgang Götz, EMCDDA Director. Also present was Alexis Goosdeel, Head of the EMCDDA’s Reitox and international cooperation unit.
Signed for an initial period of five years, this agreement establishes structured cooperation between the EMCDDA and the Faculty, promising to enhance the exchange of experts and promote the organisation of joint training activities on broad aspects of drug monitoring. A Reitox Academy training course, ‘Contemporary approaches in drug monitoring’, expected to take place from 15–20 April 2013, will be the first common activity implemented under the agreement.
Designed for professionals working in the field of drug monitoring, this course aims to boost knowledge and skills on drug-related data collection, analysis and interpretation. It will present the latest developments in drug monitoring, combining long-term and routine data collection with new complementary tools and methods. The programme will also offer the participants a unique opportunity to reflect further on the role of national drug observatories in producing drug-related information that makes a difference to stakeholders. A significant part of the course will be dedicated to the link between data collection and the organisation of services, as part of a more comprehensive approach to responding to drug-related issues.
The course will be open to participants from acceding, candidate and potential candidate countries to the EU and will be financed under the EMCDDA-IPA project preparing IPA beneficiaries to participate in the work of the agency (2)(3).
The Department of Addictology of Charles University in Prague (4), operating under the above Faculty, will be the EMCDDA’s main partner in implementing the course. The Department, which already has strong experience in education on drug monitoring and epidemiology, will ensure that the programme meets recognised quality criteria (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System/ECTS).
Commenting today, Wolfgang Götz said: ‘With this Memorandum of Understanding, the EMCDDA and the First Faculty of Medicine of Charles University combine their resources and experience to provide partners from EU and non-EU countries with up-to-date, high-quality training on drug monitoring with a focus on added value for national, European and international stakeholders’.
The Czech national focal point of the Reitox network (5) is one of the EMCDDA’s long-term partners assisting acceding, candidate and potential candidate countries to the EU in improving drug-related data collection in their respective countries.