Following the Commission’s communication on Building a European Health Union, the Commission again takes a very important step with the adoption of the Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe. The S&D Group has long been calling for increased action to ensure access to safe, effective and affordable medicines and we are pleased to see that the Commission suggests concrete actions towards these goals.
Even before the Covid-19 crisis, there were shortages and inequities in relation to access to medicines. The strategy brings forward important points that the S&D Group have stressed in their position paper: A European Health Union. Increasing EU competence in health - coping with COVID19 and looking to the future.
S&D vice-president responsible for health, Heléne Fritzon, said:
“All future steps taken need to ensure that patients are in focus. This is a great opportunity for the EU and member states to strengthen health care for patients and ensure that medicines are affordable and available to all. At the same time, it is also an important opportunity to boost competitiveness and incentives for pharmaceutical industries.
“It is also crucial to use this opportunity to make sure Europe will never again experience shortages of medicines and medical equipment in the event of new pandemic threats. We now expect this Strategy to be turned into real and coherent legislative proposals and you can rest assured that the S&D Group will continue our relentless efforts to strengthen our citizens’ health.”
S&D environment committee coordinator, Jytte Guteland, added:
“This is an important development for Europe’s citizens. For the S&D Group, it is imperative that access to safe, effective and affordable medicines is ensured across all of Europe. We demand increased transparency on pricing and reimbursement, to ensure that governments are better able to negotiate prices to ensure the affordability and accessibility of medicines. Ultimately, this is about ensuring good health for all and building a more resilient Europe together.
“The revision of existing legislations and further actions should provide a better framework to ensure that patients, no matter their citizenship nor postcode, will have access to the best health care available. We need to look at all aspects of the life-cycle of medicines and we are pleased to see the holistic approach the Commission is now suggesting, which will also benefit Europe’s strategic autonomy.”
Note to the editor:
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