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Tackling Healthcare System Inefficiency in Europe


European healthcare systems need to improve in terms of efficiency, according to the European Union's European Semester Country Specific Recommendations published yesterday.   The EU commitment to ensuring equity of access to healthcare is challenged by the limited financial capacity of governments to cover growing demand for healthcare services. Generic and biosimilar medicines provide the greatest opportunity to improve access to safe and effective medicines through efficient medicines policies.    Governments should adopt medicines policies that support the use of generic and biosimilar medicines to generate the sustained benefits of competition over the long-term. Short-sighted and radical cost-containment measures (such as External Reference Pricing (ERP), single winner tendering, payback/clawback policies and mandated price cuts), endanger medicines supply reliability and ultimately patient health, as is underlined in the Commission’s assessment of the situation in Romania.   Adrian van den Hoven, Director General at Medicines for Europe commented: “The OECD, the European Commission, and the European Council have highlighted the importance of the timely availability of generic and biosimilar medicines for healthcare systems.   "In this light," van den Hoven added, "Medicines for Europe has developed a set of Country Recommendations for France, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Bulgaria and Ireland to help the EU and member states develop effective policies that support access to medicines for patients”.   To fully realize the potential of generic and biosimilar medicines, Medicines for Europe recommend that European governments should encourage competition from generic and biosimilar medicines based on four overarching recommendations as well as specific measures for each country:  

  • Ensure a predictable market environment for a stable supply of medicines.

  • Implement clear incentives to stimulate the use of generic and biosimilar medicines.

  • Increase regulatory efficiency to promote high standards while reducing red tape.

  • Support Supplementary Protection Certificate manufacturing waiver to promote a strong manufacturing base in Europe.

More details on the Medicines for Europe recommendations can be found



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