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06 May 2024
CARE, - Medicines,

EFA was invited to the Ceremonial launch of the EU Critical Medicines Alliance organized by the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the EU and the European Commission. Earlier this year, EFA was selected as member to the forum the alliance, created to reduce medicines shortages in the EU.

 Launch of the Critical Medicines Alliance to help prevent and address  shortages of critical medicines


On 24 April, EFA was invited to attend the ceremony launching the EU Critical Medicines Alliance. The event was opened by the Minister of Health and Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium, Frank Vandenbroucke, and the EU Commissioner for Health, Stella Kyriakides, who both expressed the commitment of the health ministers across the Union, and the European Union as a whole, to come together to ensure patients are better protected and have equal access to medicines they need, especially the most critical ones.  

In a panel discussion, relevant groups shared their views on the importance of the Alliance, with interventions from the European Patients’ Forum (EPF), the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries (EFPIA), the European Fine Chemicals Group (EFCG), and Medicines for Europe, among others. EPF, represented by Board Member Nikos Dedes, underlined the role of patient organisations within the alliance, and the need for further increase health literacy at the national level to improve information on shortages and awareness on the critical medicines for patients.  

EFA Director Susanna Palkonen highlighted the EFA community challenges, such as serious life-threatening shortages, as well as the lack of information and coordination, and ad hoc unsuitable substitution of medicines. In terms of the expectations from the Alliance for the upcoming years, EFA shared its goal in contributing to addressing the unavailability of medicines, and playing a role in better informing the allergy, asthma and COPD patients on the criticality of medicines. EFA also highlighted our commitment to contribute to a real partnership in shortages and supply solutions.

First meeting of the EU Critical Medicines Alliance – 25 April 

EFA Director of Policy and Communications, Isabel Proaño attended the first meeting of the EU Critical Medicines Alliance (CMA) on behalf of EFA.  

The initiative of the alliance will serve as a forum to finding solutions and putting forward recommendations for the European Commission and Member States in the work to better tackle medicines shortages. During the first meeting, EFA asked several plenary questions regarding the foresight mechanisms to prevent shortages, such as informing about changes in guidelines and care for patients, on the potential criticality that can be added when shortages affect paediatric medicines, and the role of patient organisations in reducing and informing about medicines shortages.   

The CMA will kick-off its work organised in two separate working groups, one on the diversification of the supply chain, international partnerships and cooperation, and another one on strengthening the manufacturing capacities in the EU for critical medicines to better prevent and fight their shortages. A strategy plan is also foreseen to be adopted at the end of the year, when also the next CMA meeting is expected.  

The Alliance is currently formed by 255 organisations including NGOs, industry partners, trade associations, representatives of the Member States of the Union, and 6 observers.

To learn more about the Critical Medicines Alliance, visit the European Commission website.