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Country Profile

  • ATOME Partners
  • Consortium Members
  • Academic Advisory Board

A photograph of consortium members attending the ATOME annual meeting in February 2011The Consortium of the ATOME Project is composed of 10 partners from the fields of palliative care and pain management, treatment of opioid dependence, public health and legal affairs. Together this group consists of national, European-wide and international organisations with long-standing experience in opioid medicine issues in Europe.

Palliative Care
Department of Palliative Medicine
RWTH Aachen University, Germany
Aachen University Logo
Hospice Casa Sperantei
Brasov, Romania
Hospice Casa Sperantei Logo
Help the Hospices
London, United Kingdom
Help the Hospices Logo
International Observatory on End of Life Care
Lancaster University, UK
Lancaster University Logo
European Association for Palliative Care, Onlus
Milan, Italy


Law/Health Policy
World Health Organization
Geneva, Switzerland
World Health Organisation Logo
Utrecht University
Utrecht, The Netherlands
Utrecht University Logo


Harm Reduction
Eurasian Harm Reduction Network
Vilnius, Lithuania
National Anti Drug Agency
Bucharest, Romania
National Anti-Drug Agency Logo
Harm Reduction International
(formerly known as the International Harm Reduction Association)
London, United Kingdom
HRI Logo



The University Hospital of Aachen

Aachen University LogoThe University Hospital of Aachen (UKAACHEN) is part of the Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen (RWTH Aachen), a renowned research centre that is receiving funding within the Excellence Initiative of the German federal and state governments. The Department of Palliative Medicine at UKAACHEN was established in 2003. The department offers inpatient care, a hospital support team and outpatient clinics and cooperates with the regional palliative home care network. The department organises medical student education as well as professional education for nurses and physicians in palliative care and symptom management. Research activities have focused on cancer pain management, driving ability with opioids, fatigue in cancer patients, symptom assessment and research methodology. Current research projects include the development of a standardised assessment system for palliative care patients (HOPE) and a multi-step case study on the use of antibiotics in palliative care.

Role in the project

UKAACHEN is the coordinator of the ATOME project and provides project management, communication within the consortium and coordination of the work packages. Moreover UKAACHEN contributes with its scientific expertise to the project; this includes development of tools and mechanisms for regular monitoring and evaluation of progress in the different work packages. As part of the Project Management Team, UKAACHEN will also coordinate the publication of reports, scientific papers and other material from the project in close collaboration with the work package leaders. Together with the International Observatory for end of Life Care, Lancaster University (ULANC), UKAACHEN will have an overall responsibility for scientific aspects and liaise with the Academic Advisory Board.


Prof. Dr. Lukas Radbruch is a medical doctor specialised in anaesthesiology and had the chair for palliative medicine at the RWTH Aachen University from 2003 - 2010. He has recently been appointed as the chair for palliative medicine at the University of Bonn. Prof. Radbruch is the president of the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC) since 2007. He is speaker of the Working Group on Research of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Palliativmedizin (DGP) and member of the Drug Commission of the German Medical Board and the Drug Commission of the German Narcotic Control Agency.

Dr. Saskia Jünger is a health scientist and psychologist working as a research associate at the RWTH Aachen University. She has coordinated research projects on behalf of the Ministry of Health of North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany) and the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC) with a focus on health services research. Since 2009 Dr. Jünger coordinates the EAPC Task Force on Education for Psychologists in Palliative Care together with Prof. Payne from Lancaster University.

World Health Organization

World Health Organization LogoThe World Health Organization (WHO) is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends. It was established in 1948 and is governed by 193 Member States through the World Health Assembly. Both WHO Headquarters and the WHO Regional Office for Europe are represented in the ATOME project.

The WHO Access to Controlled Medications Programme (ACMP) is located at WHO Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland in the Department of Essential Medicines and Pharmaceutical Policies. It was established in February 2007 to promote the accessibility of medicines controlled under the international drug conventions.

The WHO Regional Office for Europe (WHO EURO) is situated in Copenhagen (Denmark) and serves a region made up of 53 countries, with over 880 million people that stretch from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The Regional Office's mission is to support WHO Member States in developing and sustaining their own health policies, health systems and public health programmes, working to prevent and overcome threats to health, anticipating future challenges, and advocating public health, with the common goal to ensure that the Region's citizens enjoy better health.

Role in the project

The WHO Access to Controlled Medications Programme provides the Consortium with the WHO policy guidelines Ensuring Balance in National Policies on Controlled Substances, Guidance for Accessibility and Availability of Controlled Medicines, which is an update of an older guideline. The ACMP contributes to the programme with its highly specialised and detailed knowledge on the situation with regard to this topic in many other work packages.

WHO EURO identifies the national counterparts responsible on the operational level for controlled substances legislation in the national governments of the countries that ATOME focuses on. WHO EURO contacts the relevant ministries and other relevant partners and provides the national counterparts with background information on the project.


Dr. Willem Scholten is a pharmaceutical doctor and also holds a Masters degree in Public Administration. In 2005, he joined WHO where he is the Team Leader, Access to Controlled Medicines. As such, he is responsible for substance evaluation and for the promotion of access to controlled substances for legitimate medical use. He represents WHO at the sessions of the International Narcotics Control Board and of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs.

Mr. Kees de Joncheere is the Regional Adviser for Health Technology and Pharmaceuticals. He has extensive experience over the last 10 years in working with the health authorities in Europe on medicines policies, especially on strengthening medicines regulation, improving the use of medicines and improving access to medicines through efficient medicines reimbursement and provision policies.

Eurasian Harm Reduction Network (EHRN)

EHRN LogoThe Eurasian Harm Reduction Network (EHRN) is a regional network with a mission to promote humane, evidence-based harm reduction approaches to drug use, with the aim of improving health and protecting human rights at the individual, community, and societal level. Founded in 1997, it is managed through regionally-elected representatives in its Steering Committee. Executive work is done through the Secretariat, established in 2001 and based in Vilnius, Lithuania. Its major activities and programs are research and information, policy and advocacy and technical support.

Role in the project

EHRN has the task to organise two important workshops in the course of the ATOME project: a six-country workshop in Bucharest (Romania) and a workshop for the review of recommendations in the follow up of legal assessment in Amsterdam (The Netherlands). Moreover, EHRN assists in the performance of other work packages with their specific expertise in the field of harm reduction, for example by helping to identify national partners for the country teams and by providing expertise to the revision of the WHO Guidelines Achieving Balance in National Opioids Control Policy.


Asta Minkeviciene is the Executive Director of EHRN.

Marija Subataite is the Manager of the Technical Support Program and coordinator of the ATOME project at EHRN.

Hospice Casa Sperantei

Hospice Casa Sperantei LogoHospice Casa Sperantei (HCS) was the first organisation to pioneer palliative care in Romania starting in 1992, first in Brasov with the opening of a home care service; an education centre was added in 1997 and an out-patient clinic and in-patient unit with day centres for children and for adults were opened in 2002. In 2005 the hospice opened a branch in Bucharest providing home care for adults and children, mobile hospital teams in 2 major teaching hospitals and an education and resource centre;and in 2008, an out-patient clinic was opened. HCS has a leading role in developing national palliative care by closely working with government and authorities for changing legislation to accommodate this new type of services. HCS is leading the national diploma training program for palliative care in Romania and was recognised as one of the 5 centres of excellence in Eastern and Central Europe.

Role in the project

HCH will organize a two important workshops throughout the project: a workshop for the training of lawyers for legislation review in Bucharest (Romania) and a six-country workshop in Bucharest, Romania. Moreover, HCS will contribute to the scientific work and the dissemination of the ATOME project with their experience in national policy development, outstanding expertise in the area of palliative care advocacy, as well as their contacts on a national and international level.


Dr. Daniela Mosoiu is a medical doctor and the Director for Education, Strategy and National Development for Palliative Care. She is appointed as national coordinator for the palliative care diploma course by the Romanian Ministry of Health. Dr. Mosoiu is a board member of several international associations such as the International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care, the Eastern and Central Europe Palliative Care Task Force and the World Wide Palliative Care Alliance.

Oana Predoiu is project manager at Hospice Casa Sperantei Foundation. She is involved in coordinating educational programs, clinical studies, organizing local and national conferences.

Help the Hospices

Help the Hospices LogoHelp the Hospices is the leading charity supporting hospice care throughout the UK. The majority of hospice care in the UK is provided by their member hospices. They represent and support their members and other organisations as they strive to grow and improve hospice and palliative care throughout the UK and across the world. Help the Hospices also has an international programme that supports the development of hospice and palliative care worldwide. They work with partners to provide a global voice on international hospice and palliative care issues. They provide resources to develop the capacity of hospice and palliative care services at national and local levels. Help the Hospices co-chairs the Worldwide Palliative Care Alliance (WPCA) which is a global action network that promotes universal access to affordable quality palliative care through the support of regional and national hospice and palliative care organisations.

For World Hospice and Palliative Care Day in 2007, Help the Hospices produced a report 'Access to pain relief – an essential human right' which addresses opioid access across the world.

Our role in the project:

Help the Hospices will organise national conferences in each of the twelve ATOME target countries. The aim of each conference is to communicate the results of the national analysis of barriers to opioid availability undertaken by the country teams.

Each conference will involve relevant national health-care professional associations, national "champions" and educational institutions. Through a mix of presentations by external speakers, group activities and exercises, the conferences will provide an intensive opportunity to discuss opioid accessibility, availability and affordability in each country. Recommendations will be made on the use of opioids for palliative care and substitution therapy and will encourage supportive national policies and plans.

Help the Hospices will provide the conference management, communication and coordination for the conferences.


David Praill is chief executive of Help the Hospices and co-chair of the World Palliative Care Alliance.

Kate Tattersall is international programmes officer at Help the Hospices.

The International Harm Reduction Association (IHRA)

IHRA LogoThe International Harm Reduction Association (IHRA) is one of the leading international non governmental organisation promoting a harm reduction approach to psychoactive substances. Headquartered in London, IHRA works to reduce drug related harms by promoting evidence based public health policy and practices and human rights based approaches to drug policy through an integrated programme of research, analysis, advocacy and collaboration with civil society partners. IHRA's vision is a world in which individuals and communities benefit from drug laws, policies and practices that promote health, dignity and human rights.

Role in the project

The International Harm Reduction Association has the task to coordinate national conferences in the ATOME target countries as follow-up to the national analyses undertaken by the country-teams in collaboration with Help the Hospices. The aim of these conferences is to communicate the results of the national analysis of barriers to opioid availability. Each of these events will have around 40 – 60 participants and will aim to enable information sharing, knowledge exchange and networking between international, regional and national substitution treatment experts and advocates, and relevant national health-care professional associations, government officials and policy makers, health-care professionals and main educational institution.


Rick Lines is the Executive Director of the International Harm Reduction Association.

Annie Kuch is Conference and Events Manager at IHRA. Annie Kuch joined IHRA in early 2007. She graduated from the University of Leeds in 2006 with a degree in History. In her final year she specialised in African History.

Utrecht University

University of Utrecht LogoThe Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Clinical Pharmacology is one of four divisions of the Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences (UIPS), Faculty of Science, Utrecht University, The Netherlands. In March 2008, the Division was designated as a WHO Collaborating Centre for Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmaceutical Policy Analysis. By establishing this Centre, the Division aimed to create innovative synergies between the methods and contents of pharmaceutical policy analysis and pharmaco¬epidemiology. The research programme is directed at several epidemiological, regulatory, policy, therapeutic and pharmacogenetic/genomic aspects of chronic drug use. The Division has established the only chair of pharmaceutical law in the Netherlands and it is in this environment that pharmaceutical law is taught and practiced.

Link to the WHO Collaboration Centre:

Website of the Division: See this link.

Role in the project

Utrecht University will be responsible for the legislation analysis in the countries that are focused upon within the ATOME project. This task will include the evaluation of national legislation interacting with the accessibility and availability of controlled substances and the drafting, together with national counterparts, of recommendations (of a legal nature) for member states on improvement. Moreover, Utrecht University will contribute to several other work packages with their expertise and specific knowledge in the area of pharmaceutical policy and pharmaceutical law.


Prof. Dr. Marie-Hélène Schutjens is an expert in the field of pharmaceutical law. Since 2000 she holds a chair of pharmaceutical law at the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Utrecht University. In the framework of the WHO Collaborating Centre, she also participates in international projects. She has extensive knowledge of the various aspects of pharmaceutical law and the regulatory environment and she has experiences with legislative processes and problems, both at a national and international level, also with regard to self regulation.

Dr. Aukje Mantel-Teeuwisse is a pharmacist by training and obtained a PhD in pharmacoepidemiology. She is an expert in the field of rational drug use, drug utilisation, access to medicines, pharmacovigilance and policy analysis. In February 2004 she was appointed assistant professor at the Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Clinical Pharmacology and has been working as a pharmacovigilance expert for the Dutch Medicines Evaluation Board in the period June 2005-December 2009. In addition, she is the co-director of the WHO Collaboration Centre, responsible for project management of the main activities of the Centre.

Marjolein Vranken is a pharmacist and will obtain her Master's degree in Law this summer. She has experience in working as a pharmacist in a community setting and is currently working in a hospital pharmacy. She has participated in research on legal boundaries concerning access to medication and will be part of the team of Utrecht University.

International Observatory on End of Life Care, Lancaster University

Lancaster University LogoThe International Observatory on End of Life Care (IOELC) was founded at Lancaster University (ULANC) in 2003 as the first ever research and development project to concentrate on the comparative analysis of hospice and palliative care around the world. Its aim is to add academic effort to the task of promoting the development of palliative care – locally, nationally and globally. It engages in projects and activities that have academic merit but which are also concerned with policy and service development and which can inform changes in clinical practice. Observatory staff characterise their approach as that of a 'critical friend' – supportive of the overall effort to improve palliative care while adding the distance and objectivity that comes with an academic orientation.

Role in the project

The IOELC will contribute to various work packages within the project with their scientific expertise and their technical competence. They have the responsibility to develop and maintain a project website incorporating an International Opioid Consumption Database. They will also provide evaluation tools and reports of workshops and conferences within the ATOME project. Together with UK Aachen, the IOELC has an overall responsibility for scientific aspects and liaises with the Academic Advisory Board. As a member of the Project Management Team, they will also take part in decision-making with regard to general project management and coordination.


Prof. Sheila Payne is a health psychologist and the Director of the International Observatory on End of Life Care at Lancaster Universtiy and holds the Help the Hospices Chair for Hospice Studies at the Institute for Health Research at Lancaster University since 2006. She is the vice-president of the European Association for Palliative Care since 2007 and incoming president of the EAPC since 2009. Prof. Payne was involved in the development of several scientific and policy Guidelines in the area of palliative care.

Dr. Thomas Lynch is a social science researcher at the International Observatory on End of Life Care. He is a member of the EAPC Task Force for the Development of Palliative Care in Europe which explored, assessed and comprehensively summarised the current state of the development of palliative care in the European region. Dr. Lynch has recently completed his PhD thesis in the Institute for Health Research exploring the concepts of surveillance, responsibility and risk in relation to female breast cancer.

Anthony Greenwood is information officer for the International Observatory on End of Life Care. He has considerable experience in the implementation of information systems. He is responsible for the continued development of the web pages of the IOELC and also of the ATOME project.

European Association for Palliative Care, Onlus (EAPC)

EAPC LogoThe European Association for Palliative Care, Onlus (EAPC) was established in 1988, with the aim to promote palliative care in Europe and to act as a focus for all of those who work, or have an interest, in the field of palliative care at the scientific, clinical and social levels. It strives to develop and promote palliative care in Europe through information, education and research using multi-professional collaboration, while engaging with stakeholders at all levels. In 1998 the EAPC was awarded the status of NGO – Non Governmental Organisation of the Council of Europe, and was transformed to "Onlus" (Non profit organisation with social utility).In 2010, the EAPC counted individual members in 40 countries, with collective members from 47 National associations in 26 European countries. Within the EAPC is working a range of task forces on Ethics, on Education in palliative care of all health professionals, the care of specific patient groups such as children, older people or patients with neurological disease to set up white papers, recommendations, standards, curricula and the state of the art of Palliative care in Europe (Task Force for the Development of Palliative Care in Europe). Every second year EAPC organises a main congress for all the stakeholders to attend for update and every other year its Research Network organises a Congress focusing on Research in Palliative Care. EAPC is also very active in the promotion of palliative care at the European Institutions, present at the Council of Europe and coordinates actions towards governments.

Role in the project

EAPC has the task to support UK Aachen with the general project management, communication with project partners and coordination of the work packages. EAPC will facilitate dissemination and implementation of the guidelines and the results of the workshops and conferences via its website and its congresses. EAPC also provides scientific expertise to the project in general. Through its network of national associations, the EAPC brings in the flexible and free of cost translation services possibilities, for the translation of reports, scientific papers and other materials from the project that need a wide diffusion and will be published online. Through its mailing list the EAPC can diffuse the information to about 7000 healthcare professionals and volunteers in palliative care in Europe.


Heidi Blumhuber is the CEO at the EAPC Head Office.

Amelia Giordano is executive officer at the EAPC Head Office. Both collaborate closely in the day to day managment of the Association, the Editing of the EAPC Web pages, the coordination of all the activities of the EAPC and support the EAPC Board of Directors and taskforces.

National Anti-Drug Agency

National Anti-Drug Agency logoThe National Anti-drug Agency, located within the Ministry of Administration and Interior, has been appointed by the Romanian Government to act as drug coordination unit in Romania. The Agency is involved in the formulation of the national drug strategy, the subsequent action plans, while also monitoring and coordinating the implementation of all drug-related activities included in the main policy documents related to drugs or other fields of national interest (public health, national security, safety and public order, etc). Additionally, the Agency ensures representation at European and international level and participation in the decision-making process at drug policy level. According to the European and national action lines, the features of the drug phenomenon and the local needs, the Agency coordinates, in a balanced manner, both drug demand and drug supply reduction measures at national level.

Additionally, through its 47 territorial Drug Prevention, Evaluation and Counseling Centers and the 5 fully operational Integrated Addiction Care Centers, the Agency, as service provider, tackles drug use and drug addiction in an integrated and multi-disciplinary manner, through specific psychological, medical and social interventions, based on the principle of case management.

Role in the project

The National Anti-drug Agency is involved in the ATOME project in work packages 3, 4 and 6 together with Hospice Casa Speranţei and the Eurasian Harm Reduction Network.

The role of the NAA as ATOME consortium member:

  • to host and to organise meetings and events with the representatives of the ATOME consortium
  • to ensure participation of national state and NGO representatives involved in drug addiction treatment and the development of drug addiction services in Romania
  • to ensure visibility of the ATOME project and its outputs at central and national level
  • to ensure connection with all relevant organizations interested in the ATOME project.


Paula Frusinoiu – philologist, coordinator of the Addiction Training National Centre within the National Anti-drug Agency, experienced in drug policy, adult training, training management, project writing and implementation and international relations.

Bogdan Gheorghe, MD - represents the Drug Demand Reduction Department of the National Anti-drug Agency. He coordinates the specific activities and current operation of the Integrated Addiction Care Centers of the agency, which provide substitution treatment to drug-addicted people.

The Academic Advisory Board (AAB) of the ATOME project consists of academic specialists familiar with issues related to relevant treatment issues and access issues. The Board or members of the Board support the consortium in their scientific and project management tasks and are asked for their specific advice when appropriate. The following scientists are part of the AAB:

Prof. Snezana Bosnjak is specialist in clinical pharmacology with expertise in the pharmacotherapy of symptoms/complications of malignant disease and toxicity of antineoplastic treatment at the Institute of Oncology & Radiology of Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia. As an International Pain Policy Fellow she was trained to identify and remove barriers to availability and accessibility of controlled medicines and is working to improve the availability and accessibility of opioids in Serbia. She is the President of the Serbian National Commission for Palliative Care and a member of the Board of Directors of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer.

Prof. Per Sjøgren is anaesthesiologist at the Section of Acute Pain Management and Palliative Medicine, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark. He has researched and published extensively on different aspects of cancer pain management, symptom aetiology, epidemiology, opioid pharmacology and treatment outcomes in palliative care. He is past-president of the Danish Society of Palliative Medicine and a board member of the European Association for Palliative Care.

Prof. Stein Kaasa is a radiooncologist at the Pain and Palliation Research Group at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). On request from the board of the European Association of Palliative care, he has founded the European Palliative Care Research Centre (PRC), which is based at the Trondheim University Hospital and at the Faculty of Medicine, NTNU. He chairs the Pain and Palliation Research Group at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway, with a strong focus on translational research, including efficacy of opioid treatment.

Prof. Ambros Uchtenhagen is as psychiatrist at the Research Institute for Public Health and Addiction, Zürich, Switzerland (Associated with University of Zürich). He is the founder and past director of Social Psychiatry services at the University Psychiatric Hospital, and emeritus Professor of social psychiatry in Zurich. In 1994, he set up the Research Institute for Public Health and Addiction, and is since the Chairman of the Board.

Professor David Clark is the Director of the University of Glasgow, Dumfries Campus, in South West Scotland - where he is also Head of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies and Chair of Medical Sociology. He founded the International Observatory on End of Life Care at Lancaster University in 2003 and is a former board member of the European Association for Palliative Care and of Help the Hospices. He is an active member of the EAPC Task Force on the Development of Palliative Care in Europe and has wide ranging interests in the history and global development of palliative care.

Mr. John Lisman is an attorney with a specialisation in pharmaceutical law and head of Lisman Legal Life sciences B.V. in Nieuwerbrug, Netherlands. He graduated in Pharmacy and Law at the Utrecht University. He has been deputy Head of the Unit Medicines and Devices in the Ministry of Health in The Netherlands from 1992 – 1999 with the Dutch implementation of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs and the Psychotropic Substances Convention as a direct responsibility. From 1999 – February 2007 he was a drug regulator at the Medicines Evaluation Board, active in many international organizations (such as the WHO, European Medicines Agency, Pharmaceutical Committee). Since 2007 he has been active in private law.