EFN Providing input to the new Pharmaceutical Strategy for EuropePosted on July 14, 2020
The EFN participates in a two-day virtual workshop organised by the European Commission in cooperation with other European health stakeholders to shape the upcoming Pharmaceutical strategy for Europe.
The new pharmaceutical strategy aims at creating a new regulatory framework that supports the industry in promoting research and new technologies while putting patients at the centre of it. It also takes into account all the weaknesses exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic and fosters actions to strengthen the resilience of our healthcare systems.
During the workshop, several stakeholders highlighted the need for creating a regulatory framework for medicines that goes beyond the traditional approach of looking only at the safety and efficiency aspects. Europe needs to be a global leader in the research and development of new medicines, therapies, and virtual health solutions.
Stakeholders discuss the affordability of medicines and new therapies, too. Some participants argue that a lack of transparency in how these prices are fixed lead to some countries paying way more than others, hindering the access of national patients to these. While the pharmaceutical industry acknowledged that this was true to a certain extent, all stakeholders agree that the European Commission should intervene at the EU level. Co-design with frontline healthcare professionals giving the medicines, such as nurses, and patients, is key for the well-functioning pharmaceutical market.
Similar views relate to the importance of co-creating new health policies, which is particular of important for EFN, especially related to the capacity building of the nursing workforce – the largest healthcare profession of all, and at the frontline of care 24/7 at the bedside with the patient. Moreover, the nursing workforce should be granted the right to prescribe medicines in all EU Member States as already outlined in the EFN EU Guidelines on Nurse ePrescribing (ENS4Care).
Finally, the EFN has also provided written input to the European Commission on this new strategy.