• Over 100 participants explored together different ways and opportunities to ensure universal access to healthcare during the 4th edition of Universal Access to Health celebrated today in Brussels.
  • Medicines for Europe, the European Patients’ Forum (EPF), European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) and the European Social Insurance Platform (ESIP) joined forces to explore ways to improve access to healthcare.
  • This setting enables in-depth discussions, with insight from politicians and EU stakeholders committed to improving the health of patient communities. The aim is to foster an open dialogue on how each stakeholder can contribute to promoting greater access to health, including constructive recommendations.

Over 100 participants explored different ways and opportunities to ensure universal access to healthcare, together with members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and healthcare stakeholders during the Universal Access to Health event that took place today in Brussels. At this year’s event, Medicines for Europe, the European Patients’ Forum (EPF), the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) and the European Social Insurance Platform (ESIP) joined forces to explore ways to improve access to healthcare.

“This meeting offers a great opportunity to strengthen our work to date, through partnership with all relevant stakeholders supporting the current initiatives towards the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goal on Health, to ensure universal access and health coverage for all by 2030”. Nicola Bedlington, EPF Secretary General.

“The engagement of all stakeholders in pursuing the goal of universal access to healthcare is essential. Fundamental to this goal is the need to ensure the sustainability of healthcare systems and that of the social health insurances. In this respect, medical treatments must not only be available and affordable, they must also respect quality, efficacy and patient safety requirements”. Arnaud Emeriau, ESIP President.

“The access to medicines debate is a social justice issue in Europe today. We need a comprehensive dialogue on all issues with a balanced involvement of all stakeholders”. Yannis Natsis, EPHA Policy Coordinator for Universal Access & Affordable Medicines.

Speaking ahead of the event, Adrian van den Hoven, Medicines for Europe Director General, commented that Medicines for Europe calls on the EU to stimulate competition in pharmaceutical markets post-patent where generic and biosimilar medicines have demonstrated their ability to massively increase access to medicines without raising the overall treatment costs, and where value added medicines can play a fundamental role to improve treatments and health outcomes”.

Medicines for Europe, EPF, ESIP and EPHA are looking forward to further progress and milestones promoting better access for better health and to meeting again in 2018 for the 5th Edition of Universal Access to Health.



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 employ 160,000 people at over 350 manufacturing and R&D sites in Europe, and invest up to 17% of their turnover in medical innovation. 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.

Medicines for Europe Communications: Doris Casares doris@medicinesforeurope.com
/Andrea Bedorin abedorin@medicinesforeurope.com Phone: +32 (0)2 533 98 10


EPF currently represents 74 members, which are national coalitions of patient’ organisations and disease-specific patient organisations working at European level. EPF reflects the voice of an estimated 150 million patients affected by various chronic diseases throughout Europe. EPF’s vision is that all patients with chronic and/or lifelong conditions in the EU have access to high quality, patient-centred equitable health and social care. The EPF strategic goals focus on areas such as health literacy, healthcare design and delivery, patient involvement, patient empowerment, sustainable patients’ organisations and non-discrimination. More information: www.eu-patient.eu

EPF Communications: Mr. Laurent Louette laurent.louette@eu-patient.eu Phone: +32 (0)2 280 23 35


The European Social Insurance Platform (ESIP) represents over 40 national statutory social insurance organisations (covering approximately 240 million citizens) in 15 EU Member States and Switzerland, active in the field of health insurance, pensions, occupational disease and accident insurance, disability and rehabilitation, family benefits and unemployment insurance. The aims of ESIP and its members are to preserve high profile social security for Europe, to reinforce solidarity-based social insurance systems and to maintain European social protection quality. ESIP builds strategic alliances for developing common positions to influence the European debate and is a consultation forum for the European institutions and other multinational bodies active in the field of social security. For more information on our activities, go to www.esip.eu and follow us on Twitter @ESIP_EU

ESIP Communications: Christine Dawson chris.dawson@esip.eu Phone: +32 (0)2 282 05 62


The European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) is a change agent advocating for better health. We are a dynamic member-led organisation, made up of public health NGOs, patient groups, health professionals, and disease groups working together to improve health and strengthen the voice of public health in Europe. EPHA is a member of, among others, the Social Platform, the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), and the Better Regulation Watchdog and SDG Watch Europe. http://www.epha.org

EPHA Communications: Giulia Vettore giulia@epha.org