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Parliamentary questions
27 November 2007
H-0980/07
ORAL QUESTION for Question Time at the part-session in January 2008 pursuant to Rule 109 of the Rules of Procedure by Mairead McGuinness to the Commission

 Subject: Ensuring consumers are protected from counterfeit and sub-standard medicines
 Answer 

The safety and efficiency of the European medicine supply chain is becoming a significant concern for European consumers, and existing weaknesses in this system could have potentially disastrous consequences for patient safety.

It is clear that European consumers want safe and affordable medicines. However, in Ireland consumers pay a premium for their medicines, with the current medicine wholesale mark-up at 17.66%, more than double the EU average. This trend is mirrored across the EU, where the fragmented nature of the market has contributed to an associated growth in 'pharmaceutical parallel trade' (PPT).

According to a report from the European Alliance for Access to Safe Medicines, counterfeit and sub-standard medicines are finding their way into the supply chain in the EU.

Could the Commission outline its position in relation to this matter, in particular does it plan to tackle this problem by reviewing parallel trade and promoting a genuine single market in pharmaceutical products which is in the interests of consumers and appears essential to ensure that the benefits of the internal market, including affordable medicines, extend to all parts of Europe's economy?

Last updated: 4 December 2007Legal notice