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Parliamentary questions
25 January 2018
E-007368/2017
Answer given by Mr Andriukaitis on behalf of the Commission

Access to medicines is at the core of EU level activities. The 2016 Council conclusions on strengthening the balance in the pharmaceutical systems indicated a clear roadmap for the Member States and the Commission to foster access to the right treatments for European patients in an affordable manner(1). Similarly, the Parliament adopted a report on EU options for improving access to medicines in 2017(2).

The Commission is currently conducting factual studies on the impact of the pharmaceutical incentives on innovation as well as availability and accessibility of medicines. These studies will feed into an evaluation of the EU legislation on medicines for children and rare diseases in 2019(3).

The Commission also supports the European Partnership for Action Against Cancer through projects with Member States known as joint actions(4). A new Innovative Partnership on Action against Cancer joint action with EUR 4.5 million co-funding from the Health Programme is due in 2018(5). A joint action on rare cancers is also ongoing with the aim to improve surveillance, share best practices and equality of care(6).

The Commission is currently finalising an initiative on strengthening EU cooperation on Health Technology Assessment (HTA) which assesses the added value of given health technology over and above existing ones, helping Member States to allocate national resources to effective health interventions. HTA can speed up process of market access and thus improve patient access to innovative technologies.

The Commission also supports possible synergies between the work of regulatory bodies, Health Technology Assessment bodies and payers with the aim to facilitate development and patient access to innovative medicinal products including cancer medicines.

(1)http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2016/06/17/epsco-conclusions-balance-pharmaceutical-system/
(2)http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+REPORT+A8-2017-0040+0+DOC+XML+V0//EN&language=en
(3)See for the ‘Roadmap’ of this evaluation: https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/initiatives/ares-2017-6059807_en?utm_source=POLITICO.EU&utm_campaign=d1ee572f78-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_12_12&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_10959edeb5-d1ee572f78-189777249
(4)http://www.epaac.eu/; https://cancercontrol.eu/archived/
(5)http://ec.europa.eu/chafea/health/actions.html
(6)http://jointactionrarecancers.eu/index.php/objectives

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