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Medicines shortages are a significant cause of concern for patients, clinicians and our public health. They impact on patients’ health outcomes by causing delays in treatment or forcing changes in treatment regimes as well as inducing a great deal of stress and worry to patients and their families.
The European associations representing manufacturers of vaccines and medicines, parallel distributors, pharmaceutical full-line wholesalers and industrial pharmacists are committed to working with the EU and member states to progress short term and longer term solutions addressing the root causes of medicines shortages that occur across Europe.
The root causes of medicines shortages include manufacturing, quality, economic, and supply chain issues. Our associations are committed to stepping up efforts to prevent and to mitigate medicines shortages. As a group, we believe that the root causes of shortages can be addressed by a set of short term and longer term solutions including harmonising data and monitoring medicines shortages at EU level, creating regulatory incentives for essential low-priced medicines, allowing regulatory flexibility and improved regulatory efficiency to mitigate shortages, and ensuring market stability and sustainability.
We call for a dialogue with EU and national competent authorities in order to implement solutions effectively addressing the root causes of shortages in the short, medium and long term perspectives rather than placing short term disproportionate requirements on manufacturers and supply chain stakeholders that could have opposite effects to the ones intended.
You can access our position paper here.
Notes to Editors
The Early Career Research Prize in Vaccinology R&D is awarded by the International Union of Immunological Societies (IUIS) with the contribution of Vaccines Europe. The 2020 Prize edition aims at rewarding significant achievements in Vaccines R&D in Europe.
The Prize rewards the discovery of new vaccine antigens, new vaccines design, understanding the basics of immune responses, new technologies that will improve the future of vaccines and vaccination and that are supported by proof-of-concept data (preclinical and clinical).
For information regarding application criteria, follow this link.
Five industry associations representing pharmaceutical, biotech and medical technologies industries operating in Europe (COCIR, EFPIA, MedTech Europe, EuropaBio and Vaccines Europe) have come together to work on a Strategic Agenda for Innovation in Healthcare. This Agenda falls in the framework of the proposed European Health Innovation Public-Private Partnership (PPP) under Horizon Europe. Its objective is to guide future public-private research & innovation that would contribute – alongside other European research funding instruments – to addressing some key European healthcare challenges in an integrated manner.
Today, the private sector is interested to invest in a new health Public-Private Partnership and would like invite citizens, patients, health and research communities, national authorities, academia and scientific societies to provide their input to make sure that this Strategic Agenda:
Horizon Europe offers a thrilling opportunity to move to the next stage of innovation in healthcare, and contribute to improving European citizens’ health, strengthen health systems and create a thriving health R&D environment. It also offers further possibilities through the creation of institutionalised Public-Private Partnerships. The goal is to create a unique platform that does not exist anywhere else, a European multi-sector Partnership for health innovation. We strongly believe that by pioneering and de-risking multisector precompetitive collaboration we can together put Europe at the forefront of health innovation.
You have an opportunity to learn more about the proposed partnership and ask questions during a dedicated webinar on 4 November 14.00 CET – register here!
You can contribute to this consultation by filling in the online questionnaire until 24 November midnight.
If you are unable to use the online questionnaire, please send your contribution to contact@EUHealthPPP.org.
If you represent a company member of COCIR, EFPIA, EuropaBio, MedTech Europe, or Vaccines Europe please send your contribution to your respective trade association for traceability and faster processing, and to ensure proper representation:
EuropaBio : B.Grimm@europabio.org
MedTech Europe: firstname.lastname@example.org
Vaccines Europe: email@example.com
Vaccination is a success story. Over the last century, vaccines have eliminated or nearly eliminated many diseases that were once widespread and often fatal, such as smallpox and polio. In fact, vaccination is second only to clean water in reducing the global burden of infectious diseases. Today, close to 30 are vaccine-preventable – helping save 2-3 million lives globally every year.
Simply put, the impact of vaccines on global health to date has been nothing short of profound.
But arguably, what is even more moving and exciting than what vaccines have achieved so far is what they have the potential to achieve in the future. If we are to deliver on this potential, we must all work together to prioritize vaccine research and development (R&D).
Innovation drives the future
The innovation currently underway across the vaccine industry has the potential to address diseases that still challenge the medical community and threaten lives, despite the progress we’ve made. In some cases, this means protection against diseases for which there have been no vaccine breakthroughs – such as respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and HIV. In others, it means developing even more effective vaccines than those that exist today – for diseases like flu and tuberculosis.
We are also exploring innovative vaccines throughout a person’s lifespan. Maternal immunization is a growing area of focus, for example. Maternal vaccines are administered to a mother during pregnancy so that immunity is passed to her child before they are even born – helping to protect them as soon as they enter the world, when they are most vulnerable. Today, there are maternal vaccines in development for prevalent and potentially deadly diseases impacting infants, including RSV, group B streptococcal bacteria, and herpes simplex. For me, this is personal – my own son, Javier, contracted RSV as an infant – and the potential to bring forward a vaccine that would protect others inspires me every day.
Maintaining Europe’s R&D leadership
Europe plays a critical role in vaccine development. More than 80 percent of vaccine doses produced by Vaccines Europe member companies globally are produced IN Europe.
We know that developing the next of generation vaccines will be more complex, more risky, and more costly than ever before. So what is the incentive for companies to continue to invest in R&D when health budgets in Europe are increasingly constrained, recommendations for new vaccines are often elusive, and we are facing a growing sentiment of vaccine hesitancy from the public – all of which can make bringing new vaccines to market feel like a losing battle?
If we want to see innovation continue, we need to commit as a global health community to some important actions:
These are not simple challenges. Prioritizing vaccine R&D will need the support and consensus of all stakeholder groups. Vaccine innovation is one of the most powerful tools we have for progress in global health, and we must make sure it continues to have a home in Europe.
Nanette Cocero is the Global President of Pfizer Vaccines. She represented Vaccines Europe on the panel “The Magic of Science: Boosting vaccine Research, Development, and Innovation” at the Global Vaccination Summit 2019.