S&Ds lead call for better access to medicines for all Europeans
Today the European Parliament's Environment Committee backed a report by S&D member Soledad Cabezón Ruiz to improve access to medicines in Europe.
Miriam Dalli, S&D spokesperson for health, said:
"There is a need for renewed dialogue on access to medicines to ensure that no one is left behind. The increasingly high cost of medicines and shrinking public health budgets have seriously jeopardised affordable access to essential medicines. Insufficient access to essential medical products poses a serious threat to the well-being of whole sections of the population in Europe. It is imperative that we establish cooperation programmes on research and development and innovative technologies to ensure that the needs of the most vulnerable are properly addressed.
"That is why we welcome the outcome of today's vote on this very important report since it takes important steps towards patients having access to both essential and affordable medicines and properly addressing rare illnesses. The EU can do and must do more to guarantee better access to medicines for all European citizens."
Soledad Cabezón Ruiz, S&D MEP and author of the parliamentary report said:
“We witness more and more cases where patients, especially with diseases like Hepatitis C, are not able to pay for new innovative treatments. Access to life-saving treatments cannot depend on where someone lives or how much they earn. Today, the environment committee backed our call for strong political action to guarantee the fundamental right to health for all Europeans.
“The pharmaceutical industry is one of the most competitive and profitable sectors in Europe. During the past few decades prices of new medicines have risen to a level where they become unaffordable for many patients and threaten the sustainability of health budgets. Clearly, we have to review the pharmaceutical system to address the shortages of essential medicines, to move from profit-oriented to patient-driven research, to improve transparency of research data and costs and look into the potential of generics.”