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EU Pharmaceutical Strategy Roadmap: high time to improve patient access to medicines and to apply the lessons from COVID-19

Date

04 Jun 2020

Sections

InfoSociety

Generic, biosimilar and valued added medicines represent almost 70% of dispensed prescription medicines across Europe. Strong policies to support the uptake of these medicines are obvious solutions for  equitable, universal and fair patient access to medicines, as set out in our recommendations “Together for Health”. The future pharmaceutical strategy should include targeted policies to support robust competition in off-patent medicines, based on a sound functioning of the internal market. This can be achieved by promoting healthy competition at loss of exclusivity and removing barriers that delay their entry to market.

The COVID-19 outbreak has demonstrated the resilience of the European generic medicines industry which was able to massively scale up supply to address demand surges. The pharmaceutical strategy should build on existing pharmaceutical manufacturing capacity and invest in a globally competitive medicines manufacturing sector. EU policies such as procurement, pharmaceutical regulation and state aid should be adapted to incentivise investments in critical production capacity for public health and in more high technology medicines manufacturing in Europe.

The pharmaceutical strategy should improve the availability of medicines by addressing the root causes of medicines shortages, ensuring sustainable healthcare policies and optimising the European regulatory system. As regards the call in the roadmap to reinforce the mechanisms for cooperation and coordination between regulatory authorities, this should start with the implementation of the European telematic strategy which has been delayed for far too long.

As demonstrated by the pandemic, constructively critical dialogue between manufacturers, the Commission and Governments is crucial to tackle critical challenges like access inequities. The pharmaceutical strategy should recognise that industry and governments have a shared responsibility to improve access to medicines for all Europeans.

Medicines for Europe

Medicines for Europe represents the generic, biosimilar and value-added medicines industries across Europe. Its vision is to provide sustainable access to high quality medicines, based on 5 important pillars: patients, quality, value, sustainability and partnership. Its members directly employ 190,000 people at over 400 manufacturing and 126 R&D sites in Europe and invest up to 17% of their turnover in R&D investment. Medicines for Europe member companies across Europe are both increasing access to medicines and driving improved health outcomes. They play a key role in creating sustainable European healthcare systems by continuing to provide high quality, effective generic medicines, whilst also innovating to create new biosimilar medicines and bringing to market value added medicines, which deliver better health outcomes, greater efficiency and/or improved safety in the hospital setting for patients. For more information please follow us at www.medicinesforeurope.com and on Twitter @medicinesforEU. 

 

Medicines for Europe Communications:

Kate O Regan koregan@medicinesforeurope.com

 

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