Political ambitions to strengthen EU supply chain resilience following the Covid crisis will not be successful unless economic and regulatory systemic reforms, such as on procurement, are put in place and provisions are made to access funds for the manufacturing of essential medicines.
Off patent medicines account for 70% of those dispensed in Europe for the most prominent diseases such as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular care, infectious diseases, and others. Between 70-90% of Intensive Care Unit (ICU), and emergency medicines are off patent. Our sector currently has over 400 manufacturing sites in Europe.
The so-called Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI) outline the political commitment to deliver on Europe’s vision for increased open strategic autonomy and build industrial capacity. However, major gaps exist in the current proposal. For the IPCEI to deliver for European industry and on access to medicines for patients, they must:
• Encourage access to manufacturing incentives such as funds to support investments in new technology and innovation by including the API and off-patent industry in the health IPCEI project
• Make EU funds and recovery funds available to support green and digital production and technology transformation to reinforce our strong European manufacturing footprint vs. competing geographies

In parallel, the State Aid Framework should enable the generic medicines and API industry to participate in national recovery and resilience plans for green and digital technology investments and to enhance medicines production.

Commenting ahead of an event organised by the French Presidency of the EU, Medicines for Europe Director General Adrian van den Hoven said “We learned a lot of lessons about the vulnerability of medicines supply the hard way during the pandemic. It is right and should be commended that we reflect on improving our medicines manufacturing footprint in Europe. But to develop IPCEIs that do not provide for the API or off-patent sector would be a mistake. These are essential medicines that millions of people rely on daily and are first line in an emergency. As war breaks out on our eastern border, there is still time to make the IPCEI framework right. We call for the IPCEI on health to include manufacturing of essential, life-saving off patent medicines and related APIs.”
Resource hub
The French Presidency is hosting a conference to discuss recommendations for an industrial policy for healthcare and the details of the IPCEI on health on 03 March 2022.The proposal currently does not provide scope for manufacturing of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) or off patent medicines. More details on the conference can be found here https://presidence-francaise.consilium.europa.eu/en/news/towards-an-independent-competitive-and-innovative-european-healthcare-sector/
Medicines for Europe
Medicines for Europe represents the generic, biosimilar and value-added medicines industries across Europe. Its vision is to provide sustainable access to high quality medicines, based on 5 important pillars: patients, quality, value, sustainability and partnership. Its members directly employ 190,000 people at over 400 manufacturing and 126 R&D sites in Europe and invest up to 17% of their turnover in R&D investment. Medicines for Europe member companies across Europe are both increasing access to medicines and driving improved health outcomes. They play a key role in creating sustainable European healthcare systems by continuing to provide high quality, effective generic medicines, whilst also innovating to create new biosimilar medicines and bringing to market value added medicines, which deliver better health outcomes, greater efficiency and/or improved safety in the hospital setting for patients. For more information please follow us at www.medicinesforeurope.com and on Twitter @medicinesforEU.