Tackling COVID-19: EFPIA welcomes proactive and regular dialogue with Commissioners on the supply of medicines during the COVID-19 pandemic

Earlier today representatives from EFPIA joined a call with Health Commissioner Kyriakides, Commissioner Breton and Commissioner Lenarčič together with representatives from across the medicines and medical devices supply chain, to discuss the potential impact of the coronavirus on the supply of vaccines and medicines.

Speaking after the first of what will become weekly calls, EFPIA Director General Nathalie Moll said: “We welcome the proactive approach from the Commissioners and the opportunity for regular dialogue at this critical time. The biopharmaceutical industry in Europe remains fully committed to global efforts to care for those affected, contain the outbreak and develop resources to tackle future outbreaks; through research into vaccines, diagnostics and treatments for COVID-19, through donations and in-kind support on the ground and by working to ensure the continued supply of medicines and vaccines.

The continuity of supply of our medicines to patients has been, and remains, of the highest priority. EFPIA members have comprehensive business continuity and contingency plans in place. Companies are constantly monitoring global and market-specific demands for their products and take all inventory decisions carefully because supply disruptions can affect patients globally.

EFPIA is in constant dialogue with its members and authorities. From the latest information received, there is limited immediate risk that COVID-19 would impact manufacturing and supply of branded medicines in Europe in the short term. While supply and demand vary by product, EFPIA members are not aware of any significant near-term impacts on the availability of our medicines and vaccines. Companies have also assessed potential longer-term impacts. The situation is fluid, but at this point EFPIA members do not anticipate impacts to their supply chains unless disruption due to the COVID-19 outbreak is sustained over the next several months. We continue to monitor the situation closely and we will keep an open and constant dialogue with the European Medicines Agency and the European and National Authorities as important information becomes available.

The uncertainty with respect to the length and extent of the pandemic poses a challenge for everyone involved in the fight against COVID-19. We support the Commission in its goals to minimize any impacts to the quality of care for patients in Europe, including access to medicines and vaccines. We look forward to continuing to work in partnership with the Commission and EMA, the Member States, their Competent Authorities and our supply chain colleagues to address challenges as they arise with pragmatic approaches that put patient needs first. At the same time, researchers from across our member companies will continue the quest to find diagnostics, vaccines and treatments to address the crisis.