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Spanish Members of European Parliament Urge European Commission to Draw Up Plans for Critical Medicines Act Quickly

  • 01/09/2023
  • News

In early May 2023, the Belgian federal Minister of Social Affairs and Public Health published a policy document defining three action points to deal with medicine shortages, including the adoption of a Critical Medicines Act (CMA) (seeVan Bael & Bellis Life Sciences News and Insights, 4 May 2023). The CMA would support European manufacturing initiatives with regard to key medicines, active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), and intermediate ingredients in cases in which Europe is currently dependent on a single country (often China) and/or a limited number of producers. The CMA drew wide support (at last count 21 Member States were in favour of the Belgian plan), and some Member States such as France have begun to implement a CMA-type project of their own (seeVan Bael & Bellis Life Sciences News and Insights, 15 June 2023).  

Despite these developments, the European Commission (the Commission) has been dragging its feet. At least, that is the accusation levelled by three Spanish Members of the European Parliament (Nicolás González, Dolors Montserrat, and Susana Solís Pérez) who together cover a broad swathe of the political spectrum. The MEPs wrote a letter to the Commission pointing out that back in 2021 the Commission identified six key areas of European dependency: raw materials, batteries, APIs, clean hydrogen, semiconductors, and cloud and edge technologies (see, attachment). They went on to note that the Commission developed a support policy for each of these sectors, with the exception of medicine production. They therefore called on the Commission to create tools and means of finance liable to increase the European production of not only APIs, but also essential and/or innovative medicines, and intermediate ingredients.

The MEPs urged the Commission to act quickly and “consider adopting, during the current legislative mandate and including in its work plan, a coherent and robust support policy in this area.”

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