06 September 2017
Europe, Germany
- Medicines

EFA’s Susanna Palkonen represented the patient view for us and the European Patients' Forum in a panel discussion “The access to medicines – Challenges and perspectives for Europe” hosted by the Bavarian Health Minister and the German pharmaceutical association, that took place at the prestigious Bavarian European presentation in front of the European Parliament Minister the 10th July.

Clearly the Bavarian state is worried about pharmaceutical production moving to third countries from Europe and their region in particular and not only because of lost business, but also for safety. Another concern is adaptive pathways for accessing new medicines, and whether this should be the way forward for early but safe access to new medicines or what is the future. The Health Minister Melanie Huml was also concerned about medicine shortages. Susanna, alongside with MEP Peter Liese brought in patient/citizen perspective, including the importance and success of the European Union and European Medicines Agency  work and coordination when it comes to for example shortages in the panel .

Currently when it comes to devices/medicines, those that are not evaluated at European level no-one is coordinating and patients are left with even life-threatening situations in some cases, and information from countries concerned is not available in a coordinated manner. Peter Liese was also worried about patient safety standards of clinical trials conducted in third countries which Susanna echoed by importance of respectful informed consent for all patients in this world.

While there was little focus on access to medicines per se in the discussion, it is good to know however that important regions in the EU like Bavaria highlight how EU can support health while being good for health business too.

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