All people should have equal access to medicines. But escalating medicine prices, particularly for new medicines, is creating a divide between European Union (EU) Member States. While healthcare systems in some countries are currently trying to shoulder the heavy financial burden of high-priced medicines, others—particularly those struck by recent austerity measures—are unable to bear the cost, forcing patients to go without needed treatment. As medicine prices and our pharmaceutical needs continue to increase, the pharmaceutical expenditure in all EU countries is simply unsustainable.

Action is needed to ensure that medicines become affordable and available for every European citizen. Health Action International works to achieve this. We conduct research into medicines inequities in EU countries. We also develop and offer policymakers recommendations to lower pharmaceutical expenditures and improve access. And to create action at a national level in Eastern European countries where inequities are often greatest, we offer EU medicines policy workshops for civil society organisations, policy-makers and journalists on EU medicines policy and ways to improve it. Our work aims ensure that more EU citizens get the medicines they need, when they need it, at a price they can afford.

Private Patents & Public Health: Changing intellectual property rules for access to medicines
Read and share infographics from our easy-to-understand website that explains how the out-of-balance patent system is impacting access to new medicines for millions around the world.

Keys to Improving Access and Innovation of Needed Medicines in the EU
Medicines are crucial to improving our health and well-being. But there’s currently an access to medicines shortfall. Read our recommendations for policy-makers to find out what governments can do to reverse this problem.