European Commission Announces New Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe

The European Commission has adopted a Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe to ensure patients have access to innovative and affordable medicines and to support the competitiveness, innovative capacity and sustainability of the EU’s pharmaceutical industry. The Strategy will allow Europe to cover its pharmaceutical needs through robust supply chains, and is a key component of building a stronger European Health Union.

Europe’s Pharmaceutical Strategy has four main objectives:

Ensuring access to affordable medicines for patients, and addressing unmet medical needs (eg in the areas of antimicrobial resistance, cancer, rare diseases).

Supporting competitiveness, innovation and sustainability of the EU’s pharmaceutical industry and the development of high quality, safe, effective and greener medicines.

Enhancing crisis preparedness and response mechanisms, and addressing security of supply.

Ensuring a strong EU voice in the world, by promoting a high level of quality, efficacy and safety standards.

The Strategy also draws lessons from the EU’s initial response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the aim of making Europe’s pharmaceutical sector better prepared and more resilient. Actions will cover the whole ecosystem of pharmaceuticals, but also some aspects of medical devices. It creates synergies with the European Green Deal and associated actions on pharmaceuticals in the environment to reduce their environmental risk, address pollution from pharmaceutical residues and promote greener manufacturing, use and disposal.

President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said: ‘The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the vital need to strengthen our health systems. This includes access to safe, effective and high-quality medicines at an affordable price. In the challenging economic and social times the EU is currently facing, the strategy adopted today will ensure that Europe and Europeans will continue to benefit from such medicines. I call on Member States and the Parliament to endorse this approach which will be rolled out in the next three years, and beyond.’

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