Committee calls for EU medical self-sufficiency amid coronavirus (COVID-19)

Committee calls for EU medical self-sufficiency amid coronavirus (COVID-19)

In light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the European Parliament’s Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee has called for more EU self-sufficiency and better-coordinated strategies to tackle medicine shortages. In a report, which was adopted by 79 votes to one with zero abstentions, the Committee highlights the need for an increased EU response and asks the European Commission to ‘use the upcoming pharmaceutical strategy to address the issue of availability, accessibility and affordability of safe medicines in Europe'.

In the approved text of the report, MEPs call on the Commission ‘to find ways to restore pharmaceutical manufacturing in Europe, giving priority to essential and strategic medicines’. For instance, ‘MEPs encourage the introduction of financial incentives, in line with state aid rules, to persuade producers to make active pharmaceutical ingredients and medicines in Europe’. In addition, MEPs welcome the new EU health programme EU4Health, which endeavours ‘to make medicines and medical equipment more available and more accessible’.

The report also calls for Member States to share best practices in stock management and create co-ordinated health strategies, as well as for the creation of a European contingency reserve of medicines of strategic importance.

Source: COVID-19: EU must step up efforts to tackle medicine shortages

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