by | November 14, 2020 | Opinion

Putting medicines policy under the spotlight: EPHA’s #A2MDialogues

Pharmaceutical policies and access to medicines top the policy agenda especially as the COVID19 challenges bring issues such as transparency in pharma, affordability of therapeutics, role of public support in biomedical innovation to the forefront. It is now more important than ever to have a comprehensive discussion on these topics. 

At EPHA, in line with our outspoken evidence-based access to medicines advocacy and track record, we decided to launch a series of online discussions titled “Access to Medicines Dialogues” to discuss actionable recommendations on some of the hottest topics in pharma. 

During our first two sessions, we focused on suggestions for regulatory reform and on the role and suitability of Intellectual Property (IP) incentives in the research and development of new treatments. Both are highly relevant and timely as the Commission is to present the Pharmaceutical strategy and the IP Action Plan by late November.

What effect do the shortcomings of current assessment processes have on the quality of innovation? How do we resolve the conundrum of weak evidence, high uncertainty at the time of approval and high prices? As the Commission considers the expansion of the mandate of the European Medicines Agency (EMA), our panelists in “Unleashing meaningful innovation through regulatory reform” presented a complete set of recommendations and discussed how regulatory and payment systems could be adapted to incentivise the timely generation of quality comparative data on the benefits and harms of new drugs and high-risk devices both before and after their market entry, so as to benefit patients, clinicians, and healthcare systems. 

With our second webinar, we turned to one of the most controversial topics in medicines’ development, the role of patent-based monopolies and exclusivities as the main incentive for innovation. We asked if IP is an enabler or a barrier for patients’ access to medicines and for meaning meaningful innovation. We heard from key stakeholders who shared their views on the review of the orphan and pediatrics legislation in Europe, the Supplementary Protection Certificate regulation and ways how to promote a healthy competition in pharmaceuticals. 

Future EPHA #A2MDialogues will be linked to ongoing policy debates and our members’ priorities. Our next two events take place in November Stay tuned!


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