Magazine article European Social Policy

Pharma Package : Cor Considers Executive's Proposals Biased

Magazine article European Social Policy

Pharma Package : Cor Considers Executive's Proposals Biased

Article excerpt

The Committee of the Regions (CoR) has accused the European Commission of favouring the pharmaceutical industry and ignoring the rights of patients. The EU executive's proposals - the so-called pharma package' - which aim to update rules on pharmacovigilance, tackle counterfeit medicines and improve information to patients on prescription medicines are, according to CoR rapporteur Susanna Haby (EPP-ED, Sweden), "biased in favour of pharmaceutical companies and would put consumers at risk". Haby's criticism was reflected in the opinion of the CoR's Sustainable Development Commission, adopted on 30 June. The member states have also clashed recently with the Commission proposal to amend a regulation on information provided to the "general public" on prescription medicines, which is part of the pharma package.

According to Haby, the fact that the package was drafted by Directorate-General Enterprise and Industry and not by DG Health "tells you all you need to know about who is likely to benefit most from them, although they should have put the interest of the patient first". She emphasised that the Commission neglected the role of independent local health care professionals when it comes to information to patients on prescribed medicines. In its proposal, the Commission proposes to allow pharmaceutical companies to take the lead on patient's information but the CoR suggests that this should be done by independent local health care professionals.

Haby was also critical of the proposal to tackle counterfeit drugs. …

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