European Commission announces new Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe

25 November, 2020

The European Commission has announced plans for a new Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe, which it claims will ensure patients have access to innovative and affordable medicines and support the competitiveness, innovative capacity and sustainability of the EU's pharmaceutical industry.

The strategy was presented today (25 November, 2020) by the EU Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas and EU Commissioner Stella Kyriakides. The European Respiratory Society (ERS) welcomes this strategy as it promises to future proof Europe and create a more resilient EU using a patient-centred strategy.

Professor Craig Wheelock, ERS Director of Scientific Relations with the EU, highlighted that ERS is ready to engage on new legislation for medicines for children and rare diseases which will target unmet needs and improve patient outcomes:

"Today’s announcement by EU Commissioner's Margaritis Schinas and Stella Kyriakides of a new Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe promises concrete actions that address supply, affordability, need for greater innovation and the challenge of antimicrobial resistance.

“Scientific societies will have a key role to play and ERS is ready to assist these efforts and to support and mobilise our members."

Initial elements of the strategy are promising, such as action on the development of novel antibiotics to combat antimicrobial resistance and incentives for cutting edge science and digital tools. ERS hopes that patients in the EU will benefit hugely from state-of-the art healthcare promised by the strategy.

As the strategy progresses, we will be on the look out for concrete details and actions that focus on how industry engagement / partnership will be promoted to re-purpose off-patent medicines for new therapeutic uses, which ERS has previously recommended.