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MEPs criticise lack of transparency on R&D costs

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MEPs criticise lack of transparency on R&D costs

March 03
10:40 2017

Price rises in the EU stir Members of European Parliament to discuss ways to make medicines more affordable, including increasing clarity on R&D costs

New medicine prices in the EU have risen over the past few decades, to the point of being unaffordable for many EU citizens and threatening the sustainability of national health care systems, according to MEPs.

To strike a better balance between EU countries’ public health interests and those of the pharmaceutical industry, the MEP resolution calls for measures to improve the traceability of R&D costs, public funding and marketing expenditure.

“Public health systems in Europe are a key part of the identity of the EU and something which we value highly,” said MEP Soledad Cabezon Ruiz. “Access to medicines must be guaranteed.”

“To achieve that, we need to rebalance the negotiating power of EU member states compared to that of the pharmaceutical industry.”

The text was approved by 568 votes to 30, with 52 abstentions.

“The industry must be competitive when it comes to producing quality innovation, while at the same time responding to patients’ needs with medicines which are safe, effective and accessible,” Ruiz added.

MEPs say that the high level of public funds used for R&D is not reflected in the pricing of medicines, impeding a fair return on public investment.

They call for greater clarity on R&D costs, including the share of publicly-funded research and on the marketing of medicines.

MEPs added that new legislation is needed to ensure the full transparency and effective controls of the procedures used to determine the prices and reimbursement of medicinal products in the member states.

They call on the Council and the Commission to strengthen the negotiating capacity of member states in order to ensure affordable access to medicines across the EU.

MEPs said that the growth in pharmaceutical spending and the clear asymmetry between pharmaceutical companies and member states in negotiating capacity and pricing information calls for further European cooperation and new policy measures at both EU and national levels.

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