EFPIA Statement on EU4Health Budget cuts

The devastating effects on people and societies of COVID-19 has underlined that investment in our health systems is vital to prevent future health crises and build a healthier, more resilient Europe for all. That is why we are disappointed to see the European Council’s drastic reduction of the budget allocated to the EU4Health programme. 
Though healthcare systems are primarily a Member State responsibility, some objectives would clearly benefit from a common European approach, including making Europe better prepared for future health crisis and enabling health systems that are truly people-centred through leveraging comparable data on health outcomes that matter for people and patients. Despite the slashed budget for the EU4Health programme, EFPIA recommends that the EU and Member States make a concerted and ambitious investment in a digital health infrastructure using all relevant funding instruments. Europe needs a Digital Health Marshall Plan, an ambitious investment that would not only strengthen the resilience of European health systems and enable patient-centred care, but also create an infrastructure for 21st century research and innovation in Europe. EFPIA would welcome a structured discussion with all stakeholders on how to best achieve this objective through both public and private efforts.