Magazine article European Social Policy

Health Council : Commission Says Flexible on Blocked Part of Pharma Package

Magazine article European Social Policy

Health Council : Commission Says Flexible on Blocked Part of Pharma Package

Article excerpt

Commenting on the information to patients' strand of the ongoing negotiations on the so-called pharmaceutical package, which has yet to be tackled by the member states, the European Commission said, during the Health Council meeting on 1 December, that is was "prepared to show flexibility in order to find a common base for the future negotiations". The above part of the proposed set of legislation aims toaoffer citizens better information on medicines and protect them against falsified products. It has been stalled in Council due to objections from the member states to the Commission's December 2008 proposal.aThe new Commission is now likely to come up with amendments to their current proposal, although it had said right after the refusal from the Council, in June 2008, that it would not do so. In the new Commission, pharmaceutical policy will be the responsibility ofathe Directorate-General for Health and Consumer Policy (DG SANCO). Today it is part of DG Enterprise and Industry's portfolio.

The Swedish EU Presidency has nevertheless been working on the other parts of the package and the progress reports that were adopted by the Health Council, on 1 December, reveal that the member states have reached "tentative agreements" on several aspects of the package.aThe full package consists of three thematic and five legislative proposals. Besides "improving information to patients," the proposals seek to strengthen pharmacovigilance and take up the battle against falsified medicines from entering into the legal supply chain. …

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