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Parliamentary questions
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13 January 2020
Answer given by Ms Kyriakides
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-003564/2019

Measures regulating the prices and reimbursement of medicines within the EU are a national competence(1). The Commission however has a clear task and is committed to support Member States in constantly improving the quality and sustainability of their health systems(2) and address the challenges linked to affordable medicines.

The 2019 EU State of Health(3) underlines the challenges on access to pharmaceuticals and highlights a number of cross-country collaborations, such as Health Technology Assessment (HTA) or horizon scanning. EU tools can indeed help decisions at national and local level and a way forward is to step up efforts to share experiences and pool expertise. The Commission will continue to develop and support initiatives that promote cooperation among Member States.

The Commission proposal on HTA creates an EU legal framework for Member States to work together on clinical elements and on emerging health technologies (horizon scanning)(4). The EU Health Programme also supports evidence based information and cooperation mechanisms, including the work of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development on improving capacity and sustainable access to medicines(5) which offers the opportunity for experts to discuss pricing negotiation methodologies and good practices. Further, a recently launched study is analysing pharmaceutical market data and various trends, including pricing(6).

(1)Articles 34, 36 and 168(7) TFEU.
(6)See the information on ‘8.13 Accessibility of pharmaceutical care and trends in pharmaceutical spending: an analysis of pharmaceutical sales data for 2008-2018’, available from https://ec.europa.eu/health/sites/health/files/funding/docs/wp2019_annex_en.pdf
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