PRESS RELEASE: We welcome Council conclusions on balancing the pharmaceutical system in the EU

14763344204_cf2619f360_m17 June 2016 – Social security organisations, mutuals and health insurance funds, members of ESIP and  AIM  warmly  welcome  the  commitment  of  the  Council  towards  a  more  balanced  pharmaceutical system in the EU.

« The  Council  has  formalised  concrete  first  steps  to  addressing  the  current  problems threatening  patients  access  to  essential  pharmaceuticals  and  the  sustainability  of healthcare  systems  caused  by  rocketing  prices  of  some  pharmaceuticals  »,  says  Franz Terwey, President of ESIP.

These  Council conclusions are in line with the  joint ESIP and AIM position on access to innovative medicines. Particularly, they recognize the  importance of  voluntary cooperation between Member States on Health Technology Assessment, exchanges of information with and  between  pricing  and  reimbursement  bodies  and  stakeholders,  and  joint  negotiations and procurement.

As outlined in the conclusions, the focus on assessing the relevance of the  EU framework in encouraging real innovation in  accordance  with patients’  needs is also critical to achieve the double goal of ensuring equal access  to  medicines  delivering  patient relevant benefits and the sustainability of healthcare systems.

“Exploring  the existing  options  for early access  of a drug to the market, defining what are unmet medical needs and clarifying  the qualifying criteria for early market access  for the benefit of the patients  should be the first steps  before considering alternative approaches such as adaptive pathways” stresses Menno Aarnout, Executive Director of AIM.

Prevention  of  anti-competitive  behaviour  and  the  timely  availability  of  generics  and biosimilars should also continue to be an important priority of the Commission. ESIP and AIM are fully committed to contribute to the work of both the Commission and the Council  to reach the goals formulated in the  conclusions adopted today by the Council in order  to  promote  a  balanced  and sustainable  pharmaceutical  system  in  the  EU,  where equal access to medicines is ensured for all.