The European Parliament Working Group on Innovation, Access to Medicines and Poverty-related Diseases (EPWG) was established by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in January 2010. Since then, it has held various meetings, debates, ‘brown bag lunches’ and events for Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) interested in the hot-button issue of access to medicines. The group has worked on topics including a proposed Free Trade Agreement with India, alternative models of innovation based on delinking the cost of research and development from the final price of the end product, drug-resistant tuberculosis on ‘the doorstep’ of the European Union (EU), and innovative ways to finance health systems and incentivise affordable medicines. HAI was pleased to be involved with a number of the group’s past events, and now to be working to co-convene the group with MSF in this new European legislature.

In recent years, HAI has taken a leading role in pushing for medicines policies in Europe that work for the benefit of patients. As part of the European Medicines Agency’s Patient and Consumer Working Party (PCWP), we bring a consumer voice to the table in order to ensure accountability and provide a counterbalance to commercial interests. As part of our advocacy on access to medicines at the European Parliament, we have worked to inform MEPs on the risks of TRIPS+ clauses in the EU-Mercosur agreement, on opportunities to assess the effectiveness of Supplementary Protection Certificate (SPC), and on the challenge of Health Technology Assessment (HTA) reform. Meanwhile, we have organised various events within the European Parliament that provide a platform for various other discussions and the sharing of best practices and recommendations that are in the interests of citizens across the EU.

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More About HAI

Health Action International is a non-profit organisation that conducts research and advocacy to advance policies that enable access to medicines and rational medicine use for all people around the world. We pursue advocacy from the patient level 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. To safeguard our objectivity and integrity, we are resolutely independent of the pharmaceutical industry and protect ourselves from all other conflicts of interest.

HAI has produced reports on issues including clinical trial transparency and Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) Agreement and intellectual property management tools, both of which include actionable policy recommendations that we hope are taken up at the EU level. All our publications can be found under the Resources section of the website.