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New EU pharma strategy to make medicines affordable

26 November 2020, 17:21 CET
New EU pharma strategy to make medicines affordable

Drugs

(BRUSSELS) - A new pharmaceutical strategy, adopted Wednesday by the EU Commission, offers patients access to affordable medicines and supports competitiveness and innovation in Europe's pharma industry.

The strategy will allow Europe to cover its pharmaceutical needs, including in times of crisis, through robust supply chains, says the Commission.

"Effective and safe medicines, vaccines and treatments have helped to tackle some of the leading causes of disease and life-threatening illnesses in the past," said EC vice-president Margaritis Schinas: "These products will be crucial to uphold the health and well-being of the European citizens in these challenging times. Today's strategy supports the EU's pharmaceutical industry to remain competitive and innovative, whilst addressing the needs of the patients and those of our health systems."

The new Pharmaceutical Strategy has four main objectives:

  • Ensuring access to affordable medicines for patients, and addressing unmet medical needs (e.g. in the areas of antimicrobial resistance, cancer, rare diseases);
  • Supporting competitiveness, innovation and sustainability of the EU's pharmaceutical industry and the development of high quality, safe, effective and greener medicines
  • Enhancing crisis preparedness and response mechanisms, and addressing security of supply;
  • Ensuring a strong EU voice in the world, by promoting a high level of quality, efficacy and safety standards.

Although the Strategy is much more than a crisis-response instrument, it draws lessons from the initial response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and makes Europe's pharmaceutical sector better prepared and more resilient.

The Strategy presents concrete actions to ensure accessibility, availability and affordability of medicines. It supports diversified and secure supply chains, ensuring the EU's open strategic autonomy in the world, and it promotes environmentally sustainable pharmaceuticals.

The Strategy will also ensure that the EU's pharmaceutical policy continues to serve public health in an ever-changing environment of scientific and commercial transformations. It will support patient centred innovations and accommodate digital and technological change.

A Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe – Communication

Pharmaceutical Strategy - background guide

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