Europe’s fight against COVID-19: EFPIA welcomes last night’s Statement of the Members of the European Council

Speaking after publication of the Statement, EFPIA Director General Nathalie Moll said: “We stand shoulder to shoulder with Heads of States and European governments in their efforts to limit the spread of the virus, provide medical equipment, promote research and tackle the socio-economic consequences of the COVID-19 crisis.”

She went on to say: “As an industry our immediate priorities are finding new vaccines, diagnostics and treatments for COVID-19, supporting governments and health systems on the ground, and ensuring the supply of medicines to the patients that need them.”

EFPIA continues to welcome the proactive approach taken by the Commission and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to maintain a constant dialogue with EFPIA together with other actors in the medicines supply chain. With Europe now at the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic, there are continual challenges in getting medicines to the patients that need them. Challenges that EFPIA members, the Commission, EMA and others are working together to solve as they arise, putting the needs of patients to the fore. To further that aim, we support a single point of contact in the Commission to coordinate all measures that impact medicines production and supply with authority to call on key directorates for rapid decisions or support: health, transport, industry, trade/diplomacy, home affairs, customs, competition and key EU agencies.

EFPIA members are working around the clock to find vaccines, diagnostics and treatments to use in the fight against coronavirus. We are committed to working collaboratively across the research and healthcare communities, utilising our world-leading science, people and resources to tackle this outbreak. There are significant efforts underway to diagnose, treat and prevent infections from the virus. Companies have donated compounds with the potential to treat coronavirus for emergency use and clinical trials, including compounds formerly tested on other viral pathogens such as Ebola and HIV. Others are researching vaccine candidates and undertaking inventories of research portfolio libraries to identify additional potential treatments for R&D. Companies are also exploring ways to leverage existing technologies that provide the ability to rapidly upscale production once a potential vaccine candidate is identified.

In addition to the research and development efforts, EFPIA member companies continue to donate millions of euros in direct monetary and in-kind contributions to support organisations at the heart of the crisis who are able to have an immediate impact for infected patients and communities. EFPIA member companies acted immediately on the ground to donate a variety of crucial supplies including advanced surgical equipment, antibiotics, disinfection equipment, batch virus testing devices (e.g., throat swabs), vitamins, protective clothing, goggles, masks, gloves and more. From donating medicines in to health systems to repurposing factories to produce and then donate sanitiser products, our industry is mobilising its people, expertise and resources to help in Europe’s fight against COVID-19.

Concluding Nathalie Moll said: “The Statement from the Council underlines the solidarity needed to face the challenges of COVID-19, I have been heartened and encouraged by the level of collaboration and communication across industry, across the life-science sector, with regulators and the European Institutions to tackle this crisis. Critical now, and I hope a sign of how we can work together to re-start Europe’s economy post COVID-19.”