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Mission Letter from EU President-elect Ursula von der Leyen to Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner-designate for Health

EFPIA notes the publication of the Mission Letter from EU President-elect Ursula von der Leyen to Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner-designate for Health. Commenting on the letter, EFPIA Director General Nathalie Moll said. “The President-elect’s Mission Letter highlights some key opportunities to deliver more for patients across Europe. We look forward to working with Commissioner Kyriakides and her team, as well as colleagues in Member States to ensure access and availability of new treatments and technologies today, medical innovation for tomorrow and sustainable healthcare systems in a globally competitive Europe.”

We welcome the commitment to look at ways to help ensure Europe has the supply of affordable medicines to meet its needs. Addressing access and availability of medicines issues is a shared goal and the shared responsibility of our industry, our healthcare systems and policy makers. Patients expect us to work together to overcome barriers to access and availability.

We believe that finding real solutions requires new partnerships and new ways of working to optimize access to health care more broadly, including how we manage the introduction of new treatments and services. We believe it is time for different type of conversation and EFPIA supports the EU Health Summit’s call for a multi-stakeholder high level Forum for better access to health innovation to bring all actors together to discuss how to facilitate better access and availability to new treatments and technologies today, medical innovation for tomorrow and sustainable healthcare systems.

The call to support the European pharmaceutical industry to ensure that it remains an innovator and world leader is critical in the context of the global race to attract life-science investment.  To achieve this, Europe needs an industrial strategy that evolves the regulatory environment,  utilizes healthcare data, protects Europe’s IP framework and supports sustainable manufacturing.
 
Delivering on the potential of healthcare data for patients in Europe is an ambition we share. Promoting health-data exchange and supporting research on new preventive strategies, as well as on treatments, medicines, medical devices and outcomes, while ensure[ing] citizens have control over their own personal data is a welcome focus and industry is committed to working in partnership with other actors through initiatives such as IMI to put Europe at the forefront of the utilization of health data in research and patient care.
 
We support the focus given to the European One Health Action Plan against Antimicrobial Resistance and believe Europe has the potential to play a lead role in the fight against anti-microbial resistance. Similarly the priority given to communication on vaccination, explaining the benefits and combating the myths, misconceptions and scepticism that surround the issue is crucial in the fight against vaccine preventable diseases and to prevent the unnecessary suffering caused by vaccine hesitancy.
 
Industry stands ready to be a key partner in Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan to support Member States to improve cancer prevention and care. We hope that the holistic approach across prevention, diagnosis, treatment, life as a cancer survivor and palliative care as well as the alignment to research objectives in the Horizon Europe programme will serve as a potential model to tackle a number of Europe’s major health challenges.