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European Coalition on Homeopathic & Anthroposophic Medicinal Products

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EP report calls for improved access to medicines

30 Mar 2017

A new report by the European Parliament calls for national and EU-wide measures to guarantee the right of patients to universal, affordable, effective, safe and timely access to essential and innovative therapies; it stresses that patient access to medicines is a shared responsibility of all actors in the healthcare system. The same report acknowledges the importance of allowing patients ‘access to the healthcare and treatment options of their choice and preference, including to complementary and alternative therapies and medicines.’

The report on EU options for improving access to medicines (2016/2057(INI)) was approved by the European Parliament on 2 March. It is an Own initiative report, drafted by Soledad Cabezón Ruiz MEP, a former cardiologist and a Spanish Member of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists & Democrats in the European Parliament (S&D).

This report tackles different issues regarding access to medicines for patients, including the affordability of certain types of medicines, the lack of transparency concerning price setting and the burden of the pharmaceutical sector in healthcare spending. It stresses the need to assess the evidence-based added value of new medicines compared to the best available alternative. It also asks for more transparency in the costs of research and development.

During the preparatory discussion in the Committee for the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety at the European Parliament, ECHAMP collaborated with associations in the field to successfully include the amendment on the availability of choice of therapy, including to complementary and alternative therapies and medicines.

There are a number of studies that demonstrate a high level of patient satisfaction with homeopathic and anthroposophic medicine treatment; it is hoped this will be considered in any future initiatives taken as a result of this new report.

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