- The Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee (ENVI) adopted an Initiative Report today that places generic, biosimilar and value added medicines at the heart of the debate on access to medicines.
- Specifically the initiative report calls for Member States to encourage competition from generic and biosimilar medicines by removing barriers and adopting uptake measures. The report also represents the first steps in the right direction, recognising the importance of assessing the worth of value added medicines. These proposals are also echoed in the June 2016 Health Council Conclusions on balanced pharmaceutical markets.
- Medicines for Europe calls on the Commission to rapidly introduce these proposals into its policies that support Member State healthcare sustainability.
Today, the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee (ENVI) voted on an initiative report that places generic, biosimilar and value added medicines at the heart of the debate on access to medicines, which is expected to be adopted in Plenary in March. The report underlines that generic medicines are a cornerstone of European healthcare, biosimilar medicines offer tremendous opportunity for access to biotherapies and that value added medicines can help to address major healthcare challenges such as compliance to treatment, polypharmacy or reducing medication errors in hospital.
The report confirms that the EU is serious about improving access to medicines for European patients. Together with the June 2016 Council Conclusions, this report provides the Commission with a clear mandate to encourage more competition from generic and biosimilar medicines and recognises the importance of assessing the worth of value added medicines. This should translate into concrete support measures for Member States to help remove barriers and stimulate uptake – for example in the EU Semester Country Specific Recommendations. “After many debates, the Parliament is aligning with the Council to make competition from generic, biosimilar and value added medicines a high priority in policies to support access to medicines. The Commission should now take action to ensure that these proposals are translated into real measures so that all patients across Europe get the access they need. ” commented Adrian van den Hoven, Medicines for Europe Director General.
MEPs are also calling on the European Commission to stimulate early export of generic and biosimilar medicines to countries where no patent or Supplementary Protection Certificate (SPC) exists. The export of generic and biosimilar medicines to non-EU countries during the SPC period will increase access to high quality medicines in third countries, without changing the equilibrium between the originator and the generic and biosimilar medicines industries in the EU.