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EU must take the lead to ensure security of supply for medicines

Date

16 Jun 2021

Sections

Health & Consumers

Legislative reforms aligned with current off-patent market conditions are the precondition for a coherent policy to improve the secure supply of essential medicines. The EU structured dialogue on medicines manufacturing is a critical first step to align stakeholders on workable reforms.

As the biggest supplier of prescription medicines, our industry is committed to improving security of supply in Europe.

for security of supply, legislative reform should cover: 

  1. Up-to-date European regulation based on interconnected digital tools to improve the predictability of supply and demand on the EU market.
  2. Alignment of Member States on security of supply based on EU solidarity – notably on what are critical products, to reward companies for investments in supply chain resilience, notably by introducing smart multi criteria tenders, and to prevent distortive national stockpiling requirements.
  3. Restore European leadership in manufacturing by adapting state aid rules to enable the generic medicines and API industry to participate in national Recovery and Resilience plans for green and digital technology investments. 

Speaking at the EU Structured Dialogue, Medicines for Europe President, Christoph Stoller (TEVA) outlined “Pharmaceutical and industrial policy must be an enabler for robust supply chains and support our industry efforts to mitigate and address the root causes of supply chain vulnerabilities, while ultimately supporting more investments in European manufacturing. The urgency is to agree and implement smart regulatory and economic policies!  In the off patent sector, the race to the lowest price has reached its limit. And rather than punishing companies via penalties or by implementing distortive national requirements such as stockpiling, we should think win win”.

Medicines for Europe Vice President Rebecca Guntern (Sandoz) said: “We need to jointly design a coherent policy to ensure security of supply for essential medicines, which is better aligned with the prevailing market conditions for off-patent medicines. Medicine manufacturing costs cannot be compressed indefinitely. We need policies that enable a meaningful digital framework, promote flexible regulatory systems and phase out unhelpful and short-sighted cost-containment measures”.

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