Putting People’s Health First: Improving Access to Medicines in Europe – November 2018
Health and R&D policies are a critical to the success of the European project. In order to put citizens at the centre of policy-making in this area, the following issues must be prioritized on the agenda of the next European Parliament and the new European Commission:
- Public return on public investment: taxpayers’ money invested into biomedical R&D should ensure public return and societal benefit. EU investments must be driven by public health needs and ensure the accessibility, availability and affordability of the R&D results. Open science, including open data and access to publications, should be adopted as standard practice.
- A sustainable R&D system: The EU and Member States need to foster healthy competition and incentivise real innovation to create a sustainable system for governments and patients. New R&D models based on open science principles should be explored, such as the delinkage of the incentive to develop medicines from the expectation of high prices, innovation inducement prizes, socially responsible licensing and open source research, by means of pilot programmes, feasibility studies and new funding schemes.
- Healthy competition and trade: the EU should reform its intellectual property rights (IPR) system ensuring a healthy balance between private interests and the public interest. Competition is crucial to promote innovation: the EU should ensure fair competition by preventing and sanctioning anti-competitive behaviours. Moreover, the EU should refrain from exporting unfair standards of IPR and implement trade policies which support global health.
- Real innovation and patients’ safety: New innovative medicines must prove added therapeutic value compared with existing treatments. High standards of scientific evidence for the marketing authorisation of new products must be maintained and promoted. Transparency of clinical trial data and pharmaceutical safety monitoring should be improved. EU cooperation on Health Technology Assessment should be strengthened in line with the highest level of transparency, independence, evidence-based decisions and the absence of any conflicts of interest.