Fri. Dec 8th, 2023

Secure access to medicinal products is paramount for ensuring well-functioning and reliable health care in the EU. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the immense pressure our national health systems may come under. Access to medicines, both well-established products and innovative treatments, is important in situations of crisis, but also in everyday life.

Acko Ankarberg JohanssonMinister for Health Care

The second session focused on how Member States can support access to both innovative and well-established products while maintaining the sustainability of the healthcare system. The ministers discussed the importance of restoring a balance between the accessibility and affordability of medicinal products in the European Union. This includes access to innovative treatments as well as established medicinal products. Among the questions raised was how to ensure affordable access to new and innovative drugs, which often target small populations and enter the market at high prices.

Among the keynote speakers at the sessions were representatives from the Bulgarian Diabetes Association, who spoke about consequences for patients of diabetes medicine shortages, a patient representative who shared his personal experience, representatives from academia as well as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), who shared policy recommendations on affordable access to medicines.

See the programme for the full list of speakers.

Working lunch with focus on Ukraine

The ministers also had a working lunch at which the health care situation in Ukraine during the Russian aggression was discussed. The ministers shared their views on the issue of Member State’s support for recovery and further development of health care capacities.

I am glad we also had the chance to discuss the dire situation in Ukraine and the EU’s support to Ukrainian health care. The EU stands united in its support for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders and its inherent right of self-defence against the Russian aggression.

Acko Ankarberg JohanssonMinister for Health Care

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