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During the September plenary session, more than 90% of the Members of the European Parliament supported the ‘Resolution on the shortage of medicines – how to address an emerging problem’, calling for a more self-sufficient Union when it comes to medicines and medical equipment and the provision of affordable treatments for all European patients.
Together with the Association of European Cancer Leagues (ECL), the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA), France Assos Santé and Prescrire, EAHP has put together a common note to remind European policy makers that shortages of medicines entail considerable risks for the health and safety of patients, the interests of whom must always come first in any policy aimed at fighting this global threat. Given the richness of the European Parliament Resolution, EAHP and the other four organisations picked up on a number of important points that should be prioritised, including but not limited to carrying out a European study on the impact of shortages on patient care; clarifying the supply and notification obligations for market authorisation holders and wholesalers under Directive 2001/83/EC and imposing dissuasive and proportionate sanctions in the event of non-compliance with these legal obligations; setting up a centralised digital platform for declaring available stocks in the EU and for reporting shortages, including real-time communication to healthcare professionals and patients as well as encouraging the implementation of procurement procedures that award a contract to multiple winners.
Aida Batista, EAHP Vice President and Board lead responsible for the topic of medicines shortages, welcomed the adoption of the Resolution on 17 September by the European Parliament and highlighted the importance of this initiative for patients and healthcare professionals. She stressed that “Unlike mentioned in the title of the report, the problem of shortages is not an emerging problem. It has grown for over 10 years and …
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.