The COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc across health systems in the Global North and South alike. It has also shone a light on the issue of access to medicines in Europe in a manner without precedent. We have seen world leaders using phrases like “global public good” and “equitable access” in a way previously unthinkable.

We have also witnessed how public support for early research can result in life-saving products, such as effective vaccines, in a very short period of time. And yet the pharmaceutical industry seems happy to perpetuate a status quo that lacks transparency. They also rely on a broken system of intellectual property rights and patent-based monopolies. This is a means to fill their pockets rather than deliver on the promise of access to affordable medicines.

Civil society has the opportunity to demonstrate why there can be no “business as usual” in the future. We at Health Action International (HAI) will re-double our efforts to drive policy that uses all available legitimate tools at the disposal of governments and public institutions to improve access to safe, effective and affordable medicines in Europe and beyond.

In a new brochure published this week, HAI has laid out our plans and activities over the next year to tackle these issues and bring the subject of access to medicines closer to European citizens. In it we discuss our priorities, including:

  • Embedding transparency in policies and practice,
  • Promoting TRIPS flexibilities and other tools to manage IP,
  • Improving Access to Clinical Trial Data and,
  • Countering the Deleterious Impact of Pharma Promotion

Read the full brochure and get in touch with our European Projects team to find out more about our work in Europe and how you can get involved.