The EPP Group wants to draw lessons from the COVID pandemic for the pharma industry. Access to medicines must become more equal, faster, more reliable and affordable for everybody.
"There are too big gaps in Europe when it comes to access to medicines, particularly in the fields of rare diseases and cancer. Why does a citizen in Romania have to wait on average more than seven times longer for a new medicine than a patient in Germany? This is unacceptable. We must make sure all patients in Europe have equal access to medicines", said the EPP Group’s Dolors Montserrat MEP ahead of the discussion today in the European Parliament’s Environment Committee on the EU's Pharmaceutical Strategy.
Montserrat, who is also the lead negotiator of the Parliament on the topic, recalled that there are as many as five European countries, namely Poland, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Latvia, which still have no access to new cancer medicines that were approved in 2019. "We must align the approval times of national agencies with the approval time of the European Medicines Agency. This is key to rapid and equal access to medicines across Europe”, she said.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how vulnerable Europe is to the shortage of essential medicines. We must not only increase production capacities in Europe, but also increase price transparency, diversify our supply chain so we don’t depend on China and India, and make sure Member States coordinate better with regards to their national health strategies", concluded Montserrat.
The European Parliament’s Environment Committee is expected to adopt its input to the European Commission's Pharmaceutical Strategy in October.
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 178 Members from all EU Member States