EU pharma strategy success depends on access to generic, biosimilar and value added medicines

Proposals must enable the sector that delivers majority of medicines to patients For Immediate ReleaseBrussels, 25 November 2020.

The new EU pharmaceutical strategymustprioritiseworkable policies for generic, biosimilar and value added medicines to deliver on patient access to medicines to rebuild strained health systems beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.

Generic, biosimilar and value addedmedicines account for 70% of essential medicinesprescribed in Europe, those that are needed every day to helppatients manage diseasesincluding cancer, auto-immune and respiratory conditions. Off-patentand repurposedmedicines are acornerstone oftheCOVID-19 response, facilitating patient treatment in hospital emergency unitsacross the world.

The EU pharmaceutical strategyprovides a unique opportunity to strengthen this strategic sector.The CommissionCommunicationis a first important step to::

  • Ensure that off patent medicines remain availableat all times, addressing the root causes of medicines shortages, making them a thing of the past
  • Ensureaccess to generic, biosimilar and value added medicinesfor all patients. Oftenin Europe, patients can onlyfullyaccess the medicines they need when the off-patent version becomesavailable. Barriers to off-patent medicines use must be removed, in harmonisation with the Intellectual PropertyAction Plan
  • Modernise our environment by digitalisingmedicine regulatory systemsto speed up processes and interactions. Patients will benefit from a regulatory system that is fit for a digital age with faster and better safety information, and improved European cooperation on the supply and availability of medicines.
  • Support a resilient manufacturing and industrial policy in Europe, injecting some much-needed competitiveness policies create manufacturing jobs in Europe and improve the resilience of supply chains to deal with health emergencies.

Commenting on the launch of the EU Pharmaceutical strategy, Medicines for EuropePresident Christoph Stoller (Teva) said“The Pharmaceutical Strategy presented today by the European Commission embodies a key milestone for many patients across Europeand echoes Medicines for Europe’sambitionto secure medicines supply and access for the next decade. Moving forward, there are too many public health, social and economic interests at stake here to getthis wrong. More than everand as proven by the COVID19 lessonslearned, we strongly believe thatall concerned stakeholders need to work together –EU and national policy makers, regulators, payers, industry and all actors of the supply chain  -if we are to effectivelydeliver on the Strategy’s ambition and ensure that patients receive the medicinesthey need when they need them, while keeping a strong, resilient and sustainable manufacturing base in Europe.”

(Medicines for Europe)