A high-level meeting of experts and officials in Tallinn is discussing the European Union’s pharmaceutical policy this week. Topics include how to improve the availability of medicines, and possible activities to promote voluntary cooperation which need to be carried out until 2020.
The meeting is taking place as part of the framework of Estonia's ongoing presidency of the Council of the European Union.
“The biggest challenge for the EU’s pharmaceutical policy is consistent availability of quality, safe, and effective medicines. By now we have reached a phase where new approaches and solutions are being pursued both in the European Union and all over the world that would ensure constant availability and affordable prices of the medicines already on the market,” Maris Jesse, deputy secretary general of the Ministry of Social Affairs, said on Monday.
“At the same time we also need to find improved ways to ensure faster availability of new effective medicines as well as their affordability,” she added.
Jesse said that to achieve this, continuous efforts needed to be made in research and product development, whereas many solutions to improve the availability of medicines might lie in voluntary cross-border cooperation with other member states.
“We need discussions about if and how voluntary cross-border procurements of medicines could be used more often. Estonia, for instance, has experience with a joint procurement of medicines with Latvia at the end of 2016 that made it possible to achieve a price reduction of approximately 25 percent compared with the prices of vaccines purchased prior to it,” Jesse said.
Editor: Dario Cavegn