Following the announcement by the new President-elect of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, on 10 September, of the distribution of portfolios within his new team of Commissioners, AGE Platform Europe shares EPHA’s concern with regard to the fact that health technology and pharmaceutical policy is being moved from the Health and Food Safety Commissioner to the new Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs.
We fear that this change may put “the public interest behind the drive for profits in drug authorisation procedures” and challenge the “access to safe, effective and high quality medicines, accompanied by independent and unbiased information to patients”, as stated in EPHA’s press release on 13 September.
We therefore co-signed a joint letter sent to President-elect Jean-Claude Juncker on 15 September to express our concern. In this letter, we remind that the main driver of EU policies concerning pharmaceuticals and health technologies should be promoting and protecting health and patient safety, including providing unbiased information to patients and adequate medicine pricing. This can conflict with the interests and competitiveness of the industry, which the Commissioner for Industry and Internal market is mandated to promote.
Mr Juncker responded to this letter:
Following Mr Juncker’s announcement at the European Parliament plenary on 22 October 2014 to maintain health technology and pharmaceutical issues within the DG SANCO, EPHA sent a new press release, which we also co-signed, to welcome the news: https://epha.org/6209