The EU’s Pharmaceutical Strategy is a roadmap which will accompany policy developments for the years to come. It is important as it offers a rare and concise overview of actions and priorities which guide EU policy action. It is indeed a reference point as much as a starting point for legislative initiatives in medicines’ policies.
It has been one year since the launch of the Strategy and its impact has been tangible with a plethora of initiatives unfolding. The Strategy’s emphasis on the need for affordable medicines along with the need for transparency in the pharmaceutical systems are crucial. 2022 will be an important year as two of the most significant initiatives outlined in the Strategy, namely the general EU pharma legislation review and the review of the orphans and paediatric medicines regulations (both expected by the end of 2022) will be a testing ground for the political ambition and commitment to rebalancing the pharmaceutical systems in Europe. The first steps of EU’s HERA will set substantial precedents as well.
The success of the Strategy will largely depend on the coordination amongst Member States as well as between the European Commission and the Council. The priorities will also depend on the dynamic created by the ongoing pandemic.