Vaccines & medicines must be affordable & accessible to all
Today, the European Commission presented its Pharmaceutical Strategy. The Strategy aims to ensure the supply of medicines and vaccines to all people in the European Union and to encourage innovation by European pharmaceutical companies. The Greens/EFA group welcomes the Pharmaceutical Strategy and calls for more transparency in investment and the avoidance of pharmaceutical monopolies. The Parliament will debate the Pharmaceutical strategy for Europe this Thursday from 08:45.
Kim van Sparrentak MEP, Greens/EFA Member of the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee, comments:
“It is good that the European Commission acknowledges that our pharmaceutical system does not meet patients’ health needs, and that it is characterized by excessive prices of medicines and disproportional revenues. But when it comes to finding effective solutions, Commissioner Kyriakides' plans lack urgency and concrete commitments regarding transparency. EU funding for pharmaceutical companies is not made conditional on their transparency and all the reviews of pharmaceutical legislation are postponed until 2022.
"We have known for years now that the current system of market exclusivities for pharmaceutical companies does not lead to better health care, but to excessive prices of medicines. If the Commission really wants to prioritize public health needs over the profits of big pharmaceutical companies, it has to put its words into action. If this Commission wants to ensure accessible and affordable medicines for all European citizens, the review of pharma legislation cannot be put on hold any longer.”
Tilly Metz MEP, Greens/EFA Member of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, comments:
"The Commission's Strategy is right to address the access and availability of medicines. Medicines and vaccines must be affordable and accessible to all. It is unacceptable that big pharma can raise the cost of their products to such an extent that people can no longer afford medicines. The Commission is right to review incentives and obligations in pharmaceutical legislation. The Commission and national competition authorities should perform more investigations and impose fines on companies that abuse their dominant position in the European market by charging excessive prices.
"Public investment in the development and testing of medicines must be linked to greater transparency about where this investment goes. Public money must be put into research and development for the benefit of all, not the pockets of a few shareholders. The Corona crisis has shown the urgent need for the EU to step up efforts to fund and coordinate independent research into medicines and vaccines with the aim to address public health needs."
The debate in the European Parliament on the Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe can be viewed on Thursday from 08:45 here.