Magazine article European Social Policy

Pharmaceutical Package : Commission Sticks to Proposal on Information to Patients

Magazine article European Social Policy

Pharmaceutical Package : Commission Sticks to Proposal on Information to Patients

Article excerpt

The European Commission remains convinced of the merits of its proposal to amend a regulation on information provided to the "general public" on prescription medicines, said a spokesperson for Enterprise and Industry Commissioner Gunter Verheugen. However, over 20 member states made it clear, at the Health Council in Luxembourg on 9 June, that they do not to consider the proposal "an appropriate basis for continued negotiations" and that they do not think that the proposal guarantees the provision of objective and unbiased information on prescription-only medicines.

According to these member states, the proposal makes no distinction between information' and advertising'. These countries believe that the proposed monitoring mechanisms are too costly and would create administrative burdens. Furthermore, they argue that information about prescription-only medicines should come from "competent health authorities" and not directly from the pharmaceutical industry.

No formal request has been made by the Council to withdraw the proposal for the revision of Regulation EC 726/2004, although several member states did ask for this, on 9 June. The Swedish EU Presidency will continue negotiations on the other two parts of the pharmaceutical package' (the package consists of three thematic' parts and five legislative proposals) but will leave the proposal on "information to the general public" untouched, at request of the Council, since several delegations said that they wanted to refrain from "entering into detailed examinations". …

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