European healthcare distributors have welcomed a much-awaited pharmaceutical strategy which was adopted by the European Commission on Wednesday (Nov 25).

In a statement issued today, European Healthcare Distribution Association GIRP said the proposed measures would ensure patients’ access to safe and affordable medicines.

“The strategy lays out a forward-looking plan, and while building on the lessons learned from the Covid-19 crisis, will assess all policy options to address the crucial issues of access and affordability, including shortages, GIRP president Bernd Grabner said.

“The EU can play a more leading and progressive role in the development and management of supply issues and therefore we welcome the approach foreseen in the strategy and look forward to working with other stakeholders and authorities alike to bringing about workable solutions for the benefit of patients,” he added.

The strategy also promotes environmentally sustainable pharmaceuticals and supports diversified and secure supply chains.

President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, stated on Wednesday: “The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the vital need to strengthen our health systems. This includes access to safe, effective and high-quality medicines at an affordable price. In the challenging economic and social times the EU is currently facing, the strategy adopted today will ensure that Europe and Europeans will continue to benefit from such medicines.”

The strategy will also ensure that the EU’s pharmaceutical policy continues to serve public health in an ever-changing environment of scientific and commercial transformations, supporting patient centred innovations and accommodating digital and technological change.

Stella Kyriakides, commissioner for health and food safety added: “… we launch the work to ensure that safe and effective medicines are accessible and affordable at all times and to all patients across the EU.”

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