Patients need informed access to medicines, conference in Sofia agrees

08.03.2018

Patients’ confidence should be increased and they should be given an informed access to medicines, experts underlined at an international conference in Sofia. The event, part of the calendar of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU in the health sector, took place on 6 March 2018 in the National Palace of Culture.

At the conference, discussions were held on topics related to the accessibility of medicinal products, their therapeutic effects and the effectiveness of the use of public resources. The participants agreed that Europe has proven that the current regulatory framework for medicines should ensure patient safety and provide quality treatment through proven, effective therapies.

Participants discussed the need to apply the principle of proportionality in drug delivery, the need to take into account the specificities of EU Member States' drug policies and the possibility of finding a common national and European solution. One of the key messages was that medicinal products are specific commodities and their trade as well as the control over shortages of such products should be regulated through sustainable solutions.

Emphasis was placed on finding a balance between the speed of regulatory approval and safety data for new drug therapies. The participants in the conference were convinced that national drug regulators need reliable data on the effectiveness of therapies. In this context, it is of the utmost importance that the EU should be consistent in its policies on both generic and innovative medicines that protect the interests of all European patients. Representatives of innovative and generic manufacturers, drug sellers and regulatory institutions established in the EU have declared to the conference participants their commitment to human health in future decision-making in this area, at national and European level.

The conference was attended by experts from the Member States of the European Union, the World Health Organisation, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the European Commission, the European Medicines Agency, the academic community, the industry and non-governmental organisations involved in the healthcare field.

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