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Europe’s COVID-19 battle: Data holds the key to ensuring patients get the medicines they need

In a week that saw the European Commission take a lead role in the global fight against COVID-19, raising €7.4bn at the Coronavirus Global Response pledging event, the weekly call with the Commissioners dedicated to COVID-19 today addressed the practical challenges caused by the crisis with pragmatic solutions that put the needs of patients first.
 
Both Commissioner Kyriakides and EFPIA Director General, Nathalie Moll underlined the importance of keeping the patients at the heart of Europe’s coronavirus response with Ms Moll highlighting the public dialogue between EFPIA and the European Patients Forum as well as the European researched-based industry’s commitments to fighting COVID-19.
 
Ensuring the supply of medicines to the patients who need them, remains a top priority for EFPIA and its members. Dr Susanne Fielder (MSD) reiterated the importance of modelling data from the European Centre for Disease Control about the likely progression of the pandemic in each country as well as patient level and hospital level data in the Member States. It is this data that will facilitate getting the right medicine to the right hospital in the right country at the right time as we prepare for any future waves of the disease.
 
Having instigated pandemic preparedness plans in January 2020, EFPIA member companies have been able to increase production to meet the needs of patients, however data holds the key to ensuring that this increased production can be allocated across Europe so that each patient gets the medicines she or he needs. 
 
In addition to the forecasting data and modelling, data held in national repositories, set up in the context of the EU Falsified Medicines Directive can show, at aggregate level, how and when critical treatments are delivered to countries and how quickly they are being used. If utilised, this data can be another powerful tool in helping to plan and manage the allocation of medicines to ensure patients get the treatments they need.
 
While our scientists and researchers continue to work around the clock to develop new diagnostics, treatments and vaccines for use in the fight against COVID-19, we will continue to work in partnership with the patient community, healthcare partners, the EU institutions and Member States to mitigate the impact of this virus and build Europe’s resilience to future health threats and our existing health challenges.
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