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Parliamentary questions
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11 December 2019
Question for written answer E-004370/2019
to the Commission
Rule 138
Cindy Franssen (PPE)
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: Shortages of medicinal products in the European Union

Directive 2001/83/EC requires marketing authorisation holders to ensure that the medicinal products that they are authorised to supply are available at all times. However, in practice, it is increasingly common for patients and doctors in the European Union to encounter shortages of certain medicinal products. This compels them to resort to more expensive medicines, or to order the necessary products from countries that are not members of the EU and where the same safety requirements do not apply. With reference to the Commission’s answer to Written Question E-002981/2019:

1. Does the Commission agree that causing shortages on the basis of commercial decisions by the pharmaceutical industry does not comply with the above-mentioned obligation under Directive 2001/83/EC?

2. In the short term, how does the Commission plan to tackle the growing shortages and improve coordination between Member States?

3. As a follow-up to the mission letter addressed to the new Commissioner for Health, what measures does the Commission propose in order to raise the issue of dependence on third countries and to increase the production of medicinal products in the EU in order to ensure their affordability and availability?

Original language of question: NL
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