Europe’s COVID-19 battle: Getting the data we need to ensure the supply of medicines

EFPIA member companies are continuing to work around the clock to increase capacity and ensure the supply of critical medicines to patients across Europe. By implementing their pandemic preparedness plans back in January 2020, companies have been able to achieve as much as a 260% increase in production in some cases.

Speaking after today’s (23.042020) call with Health Commissioner Kyriakides and Commissioner Breton, EFPIA Director General, Nathalie Moll said: “Because of the dramatic increases in production capacity by EFPIA member companies, there are enough innovative medicines being manufactured and supplied to meet the needs of patients across Europe. However, export bans, restrictions and requisitioning of medicines continue to exist across the EU. This can mean that despite companies producing more than enough medicines for patients across Europe as a whole, stockpiles of medicines in one country and/or restriction to medicines movement lead to shortages for patients in other EU countries. We strongly support the Commission’s continued call for solidarity and a coordinated and united approach.”

A major part of the solution is the provision of detailed, accurate forecasting data from the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) on the patient-level demand for medicines in each Member State.  Getting access to this data will mean companies can distribute medicines according to patient need in each country and prevent over supply in one country and shortages in another.

We understand each Member State’s desire to ensure the availability of necessary medicines for their population. However, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, and to ensure the supply of medicines for all patients across Europe - it is the patient-level demand in each country which should equate to supply rather than anything else - particularly for those medicines with potential for use against COVID-19. Working together to get this right depends on the provision of the data from the ECDC and Member State collaboration.