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The future EU health agenda should bring EU solidarity to life

Date

26 Mar 2024

Sections

Health & Consumers

Brussels, 26 March 2024

Medicines for Europe members supply most of the essential prescription medicines in Europe, accounting for 67% of dispensed medicines. These medicines cover 80% of therapy areas, including for major and debilitating diseases such as cardiovascular disease, auto-immune conditions, cancer, and diabetes, among many others.

EU collaboration on health has never been more important or prominent. Medicines for Europe has extensive experience of what this means in action, having worked with authorities on health delivery during the COVID 19 emergency and the beginning of the war in Ukraine.

However, this solidarity must extend beyond emergency situations and apply also in our approach to securing supply chains. We increasingly see policy measures adopted at national level that go against EU solidarity, including disproportionate stockpiling measures, unsuitable pricing policies for off patent medicines, and changes to the EU critical medicines list.

To ensure efficient collaboration at EU level, Medicines for Europe calls for:

  • Sustainable off-patent medicine market policies that prioritise security of supply, starting with EU guidance on medicines procurement.
  • A Critical Medicines Act to enable a public-private partnership to invest more in medicines and active ingredient production in Europe.
  • A harmonised approach to critical medicines based on a single European list and a focused strategy to reduce the risk of shortages.
  • A truly digital platform to monitor demand/supply and prevent shortages building on existing resources such as a serialisation system (EMVS), EMA extended mandate platform (ESMP), common standards for identify medicinal products (IDMP). These should be interoperable so that all member states and national agencies can benefit from real time data on shortage risks.

Speaking at the High-Level Conference on the Future EU Health Union , organised by the Belgian Presidency of the EU, Elisabeth Stampa, President of Medicines for Europe commented “EU solidarity was critical to our response to the COVID-19 pandemic so that no patient was left behind. Since the pandemic, we have seen a slackening of this solidarity commitment with national divergences that undermine the supply of medicines to all Europeans. We need to work together to prevent and mitigate medicines shortages, to strengthen EU manufacturing of essential and critical medicines, and to harness the power of digitalisation to serve patients. If each member state tackles these issues in their own way, we risk widening inequities in access and diluting our manufacturing capacities. My hope is to continue to support EU solidarity with the EU institutions, including DG HERA, with the full buy-in of the member states and the Parliament.”

Resource hub

More information on the event organised by the Belgian Presidency of the EU can be found at https://belgian-presidency.consilium.europa.eu/en/events/high-level-conference-on-the-future-eu-health-union/

The disproportionate impact of national stockpiling

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. 

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