The Observatory of Transparency in Medicines Policies (OTMeds) publishes this Tuesday, March 1 a report on the challenges of the relocation of pharmaceutical production in Europe, analyzed on the basis of the criteria of the right to health, the general interest, health democracy, pragmatism and industrial considerations.
It concludes on the need to establish transparency in the pharmaceutical chain to guide research and industrial policy, condition public aid granted to pharmaceutical companies, and on the urgency of setting up new negotiation levers for prices of health products to get out of dependence on multinationals.
This document outlines the shortcomings of the current pharmaceutical system and its consequences in terms of shortages, the sustainability of health systems and access to care for individuals. It studies the possibilities and methods of relocating pharmaceutical production in the European Union and its Member States. The observation is made of the influence of consulting firms and the lobbying done by multinational pharmaceutical companies on the public policies carried out, policies that go against the current of public interests.
The document also shows that a relocation that would take place only under current market conditions, based on the principle of supply and demand, would be doomed to failure. This is why other public production models are also being studied for the essential medicines which have been the subject of stock shortages or supply tensions for the past ten years in particular. The Brazilian model, unique in the world, is particularly described, as well as the pharmaceutical production in Dutch hospitals.
Finally, the report highlights the importance of raw material production. Relocating part of the production without tackling the issue of active drug ingredients (API) means missing out on the main issues. This bulk production policy must also incorporate the ethical and environmental dimension linked to the pollution inherent in this type of production.
All these complex questions are raised in this report, which is based on research work and the hearing of some fifteen experts in various fields and a review of the literature.
Notes: Produced between August 2020 and February 2022 by OTMeds, this document is the final and updated version of a document presented to the press on October 1st. In August 2020, the GNEN/GL parliamentary group in the European Parliament commissioned OTMeds to produce an independent report on the opportunities for pharmaceutical relocation in Europe or in the Member States. The parliamentary group was not involved in the production of the report.