European Association of Euro-Pharmaceutical Companies

No citizen in any Member State today should be forced to face the dangerous consequences of a shortage of medicines. In this, we support the health ministers in their attempt to better understand the phenomenon and recognise our public duty in helping tackling the issue. Initiating a reflexion is a good start but tools already exist that, if effectively implemented, can help reduce the impact of shortages on patients. Article 81 is one such example. A stronger Public Service Obligation (PSO) for both manufacturers and wholesalers is needed across Europe to enhance access and boost supply. In many cases, parallel distribution can actually act as solution to the problem as it opens up alternative supply channels to operators who can no longer get their products due to supply management practices such as quota systems. As they look to a long-term resolution of medicines shortages, we therefore invite EU health ministers to engage into a reciprocal dialogue with all relevant supply chain stakeholders, with a view to strengthening the supply chain and ensuring that all players within that chain – especially wholesalers and pharmacies – have access to medicines and can perform their legal duties.