The European Commission has recently adopted a Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe to ensure patients have access to innovative, affordable and safe medicines. It also aims to support the competitiveness, innovative capacity, and sustainability of the EU’s pharmaceutical industry. The strategy is considered as a key component of building a stronger European Health Union.

The strategy has been designed to ensure that the EU’s pharmaceutical policy continues to serve public health in an ever-changing environment of scientific and commercial transformations. It will support innovations that are patient-centred and that embrace digital and technological change.

The four objectives

The strategy’s four main objectives are the following:

  • Affordable medicines – ensuring all patients have access to affordable medicines, addressing unmet medical needs in areas such as antimicrobial resistance, cancer and rare diseases;
  • Pharmaceutical industry – supporting competitiveness, innovation and sustainability of the EU’s pharmaceutical industry and the development of high quality, safe, effective and greener medicines;
  • Prevention and Security – enhancing preparedness and response mechanisms for crises and ensuring security of supply;
  • Standards – ensuring the EU stands out as a model for a high level of quality, efficacy, and safety standards in medicines.

The strategy will translate into legislative and non-legislative actions which will be launched over the coming years.