Media Statement | 3 March 2017 | Download PDF

AMSTERDAM—Health Action International commends the European Parliament for its Report on European Union (EU) Options for Improving Access to Medicines, the timing of which is crucial given the increasing inability for healthcare systems to provide access to high-priced medicines.

We applaud Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) for identifying high and unaffordable medicine prices, imbalanced patent rules, and the lack of needs-driven research and development (R&D) as the key barriers hindering access to medicines and therapeutic advancement. We strongly support their calls for biomedical R&D to be driven by unmet medical needs, such as the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance, and for increased transparency of R&D costs, including the proportion funded by the public.

We urge the European Medicines Agency to note MEPs’ recommendation that early access schemes only be used in situations of high unmet medical need. In addition, we strongly support their view that robust clinical trials and thorough pharmacovigilance monitoring are necessary to assess medicines safety and efficacy.

Finally, Health Action International welcomes the European Parliament’s support to the June 2016 Council Conclusions, which ask the Commission to conduct a social impact analysis of current intellectual property rules.

We now urge that the European Commission and Member States follow up on this report and implement provisions that will improve access to medicines in the European Union.

For interview requests and further information, please contact:
James Still
Communications Advisor
Health Action International
Tel: +31 20 412 4523

Health Action International is the only non-governmental organisation entirely dedicated to strengthening pharmaceutical policy to improve public health. Our staff and global network of members have expertise in virtually all areas of medicines policy, including the price, availability and affordability of medicines, clinical data transparency, intellectual property and pharmaceutical marketing. We pursue advocacy at the patient level and up to the highest levels of government through our ‘official relations’ status with the World Health Organization and respected relationship with the European Medicines Agency. We are financially independent from the pharmaceutical industry.

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