EFPIA statement following the call with EU Commissioner Kyriakides

On Friday 15 May, EFPIA together with industry sister associations met with EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides, other relevant Commission services as well as representatives of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) to discuss Europe’s continued fight against COVID-19.  The principle focus of these weekly calls remains ensuring the supply of treatments to the patients that need them in the context of the pandemic.
Speaking after the meeting, EFPIA Director General, Nathalie Moll said. “Thanks to the intense and continued collaborative effort across Europe, we are beginning to see a sustained fall in the number of new cases and hospitalisations from COVID-19. Ensuring the supply of medicines to the patients who need them remains a top priority for EFPIA and its members during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.” 

The experience of recent months has underlined that innovative medicines companies have been able to increase supply to meet the needs of patients across Europe. Companies have increased capacity by 260% in some cases. For the innovative pharmaceutical industry, this has been helped by several factors including our limited international dependencies due our past strong research presence in Europe. Contributing to Europe’s open, strategic autonomy, 76% of the active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) used in the manufacture innovative medicines in Europe are sourced in the EU with a further 11% coming from the US. Only 9% of APIs needed in the EU’s production originate from Asia (including South-Korea and Japan)[1].
Allocating the increased production from companies to the right hospital in the right country at the right time is critical to ensuring that patients get the medicines they need. Forecasting data from the European Centre for Disease Control and data held in national repositories, set up in the context of the EU Falsified Medicines Directive can show, at an aggregate level, how and when critical treatments are delivered to countries and how quickly they are being used. If utilised, this data can help plan and manage the allocation of medicines to prevent any potential shortages. We very much welcome the continued efforts of the EMA and ECDC and hope these tools can be utilised as quickly as possible to ensure patients get the treatments they need when they need them.
During the call, Commissioner Kyriakides underlined the importance of collaborative, solution-focused approaches to the many challenges posed by COVID-19. EFPIA, strongly supports a regular, multi-stakeholder dialogue with the EU Institutions and Member States to learn the lessons of COVID-19, building on the partnerships and new ways of working forged during the crisis. This collaborative approach can quickly help Europe build its health resilience, address our ongoing health challenges and help build “a modern, clean and healthy economy which secures the livelihoods of the next generations” as stated by Commission President von der Leyen when addressing the European Parliament last week.
In the meantime, our scientists and researchers continue to work around the clock to discover, develop and manufacture, at pace and scale, affordable treatments and vaccines that will ultimately provide a route out from under the shadow of the coronavirus.

[1] EFPIA Internal Survey (n=17), Feb 2020