The review of the European pharmaceutical legislation: “Europe must continue having the leading role in the R&D of treatments for rare diseases”

Chalandri, February 9, 2023. – In view of the World Week on Rare Diseases (February 28 – March 2), SFEE, as represented by its President, Mr. Olympios Papadimitriou, participated in the event held in the European Parliament on the subject “Time to act: Building a pharmaceutical framework fit for rare diseases” and hosted by the European MP and member of the European People’s Party (EPP) Mr. Stelios Kympouropoulos. Representatives of patients with rare diseases from Greece and all over Europe, as well as of the European Commission and the pharmaceutical industry participated in that event.

In his inaugurating speech, Olympios Papadimitriou referred to the fore-coming review of the European pharmaceutical legislation and the double challenge addressed both to Europe and the European Pharma Industry, to remain in the foreground of the innovation and discovery of new treatments through R&D and secure the optimal accessibility to existing and new treatments for all European citizens.

He stressed the necessity of maintaining a stable and strong framework of intellectual property protection, which has led to date to the discovery and marketing of at least 200 new orphan drugs covering the needs of more than 6 million European patients suffering of rare diseases.

He also mentioned, in tandem, the need to close the gap between the European countries with regard to the access to new medicines and stressed the commitment of the pharma industry to submit on time the request for launching each new product in all European countries. Nevertheless, the regulatory framework and the procedures applying in each country do not secure the timely assessment and approval of these requests. The European Union should therefore examine this situation and act upon it, if it aims at closing substantially this gap of disparities.

In any case, the issue at stake is to produce a European Strategy Framework on medicines through the cooperation of governments and the pharma industry, which will give Europe the leading role in attracting R&D for the development of new therapies for rare and any other kind of diseases and take it away from the “follow-my-leader” role it currently tends to.

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