Malta highlights issue of EU medicines shortage

The issue of medicines shortage and ways to improve access to innovative medicines in the European Union (EU), particularly in small markets such as Malta, have been discussed by Malta’s health minister and relevant EU officials.

Malta’s Health Minister Chris Fearne and European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakides discussed “current barriers within the internal market to the benefit of all EU patients,” the Health Ministry said in a statement.

Fearne said he supported the objectives of the European Commission’s recently adopted legislative proposals, which aim to improve access to affordable medicines across the EU and create a single market for pharmaceuticals.

“The new approach within the Commission proposals, in which incentives for innovative products are linked to access to patients within all member states is the right approach and should be the basis of future negotiations,” Fearne said.

They agreed that access to medicines also requires initiatives beyond the proposed legislation and that these would be better addressed through a coordinated approach among the member states.

Fearne and the commissioner also participated in the Medicines for Europe annual conference, which Malta hosted and which focused on the key actions required to build a healthier Europe. ■

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