E-pharmacy sector urges measures to ensure available, accessible, affordable medicines in Europe
Brussels, 27 October 2023 – the European Association of E-Pharmacies (EAEP) hosted an event in Brussels on Thursday, 26 October 2023, on “The EU Pharmaceutical Legislation – setting the right framework conditions for pharmacies”. On the occasion, EU representatives, industry stakeholders, patient organisations and e-pharmacies held an exchange on the ambitious revision of the existing rules governing the pharma sector, put forward by the European Commission.
The event shed light on innovative solutions to address challenges for patients to access medicines and the contribution brought by digitalisation, creating synergies with the need to strengthen the EU Single Market.
The new pharmaceutical package, released in April 2023, represents a unique opportunity to take advantage of the benefits for patients offered by digital solutions when accessing healthcare. The panellists, Mr Holger Jacobsen (Industry Lead, Healthcare, Google), Ms Claudia Louati (Head of Policy, European Patients’ Forum), Mr Vladimir Finsterle (CEO Lekarna.cz / Mojalekaren.sk), and Ms Malwina Mejer (Senior Economist, Copenhagen Economics) highlighted among others the importance of (a) enabling patients’ access to safe digital solutions to obtain medications and pharmaceutical advice, coupled with advancing digital health literacy; (b) raising the awareness of existing regulatory tools to acknowledge healthcare providers legally operating online; (c) breaking existing legislative barriers preventing the creation of a fully-fledged EU single market for medicines in Europe. Online pharmacies and their pharmacists continue to play an instrumental role in ensuring the availability, accessibility, and affordability of medicines across the continent.
In a video message, MEP Tomislav Sokol (European People’s Party, Croatia), the shadow rapporteur on Regulation in the European Parliament, argued that “the reform is crucial to acknowledge and embrace the potential of digital health. It is important that the revised legislation actively promotes the adoption of digital health solutions to enhance patients’ access to healthcare and improve healthcare outcomes. Within the healthcare sector, the online sale of Over-the-Counter and prescription drugs have become a significant point of interest, particularly for patients during COVID19 pandemic. Online pharmacies play an important role in improving patients’ access to medicines, especially for those living in remote areas or facing mobility issues. The revised Pharmaceutical Legislation should facilitate the implementation of a regulatory framework at the member state level ensuring patients can securely and safely obtain their prescription medications, also online”.
As the body representing the online pharmacy sector in Europe, the EAEP remains committed to engaging with stakeholders and policymakers with a view to advancing an ambitious, positive legislative framework enabling patients to access healthcare, regardless of where they live.
Profile: The European Association of E-Pharmacies (EAEP) represents the interests of e-pharmacies on the European continent. More than 20 million customers and patients across Europe are currently being supplied by our members and on top of that, our online pharmacies and their almost 5,000 employees are currently active in eleven European markets. The EAEP voices its interests mainly with political stakeholders, regional and business actors, with the ultimate aim to improve the health of Europe’s citizens and strengthen the European healthcare system. E-Pharmacies have digitalised the classical pharmacy, and therefore act at the crossroads of digitalisation, healthcare, e-commerce and sustainability. As pioneers in providing digital solutions and our innovative and secure processes in dealing with health data, offering medicinal products and digital healthcare service while complying with national and EU law, the EAEP members continuously seek for ways to enhance the quality, safety and efficiency of healthcare for Europeans.