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12° Nicosia,
23 July, 2024
 
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Cyprus calls for medicine market reform

Health minister advocates incentives for pharma companies to improve medicine access

Newsroom / CNA

Health Minister for Health Popi Kanari said that Cyprus is in favor of the creation of a single market for medicines, and highlighted the problems that Cyprus faces regarding medicine access as a small member state, during the second day of the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO) of the EU, which was held on Tuesday in Luxembourg in its Health Ministers configuration.

The main topic of discussion was strengthening the medicine ecosystem and supporting innovation and better access, according to a Ministry press release.

The 27 ministers were also briefed by Health and Food Safety Commissioner Stella Kyriakides on the Commission's recent communications on mental health issues.

In her intervention, Kanari advocated for equal access to medicines and the creation of a single market for medicines, noting the problems Cyprus faces as a small member state. She pointed out that one measure that could address the problem would be to offer incentives to pharmaceutical companies, such as the reduction and/or exemption from fees, as well as a possible modification of data protection periods for products placed precisely in small Member States.

Referring to the need to ensure competitiveness in developing innovative medicines, the Minister advocated focusing research on areas related to unmet medical needs and eliminating time-consuming procedures for the certification of innovative pharmaceutical products.

During the meeting, health ministers also adopted a Council Recommendation to strengthen EU action to tackle anti-microbial resistance, in the context of the "One Health" approach, which includes both human and animal health and the protection of plants and the environment. Kanari supported this recommendation, pointing out that tackling the problem requires multi-level, cross-sectoral, and high-level international cooperation.

During the meeting, the Ministers exchanged views on a French initiative to establish a European day in memory of the victims of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Cypriot Minister supported the proposal, saying that such a day would be an opportunity to remember both the victims of the pandemic and the frontline health professionals who fought to tackle the pandemic and save lives.

The 27 ministers were also briefed by Health and Food Safety Commissioner Stella Kyriakides on the Commission's recent communications on mental health issues. During a working lunch, the Health Ministers discussed tackling loneliness and the need to increase social connection, with a particular focus on supporting youth and the elderly.

In the margins of the Council, the Minister of Health held a bilateral meeting with her Dutch counterpart Ernst Kuipers and exchanged views on the prevention and effective treatment of antimicrobial resistance. They also discussed the experience of their countries and ways of bilateral cooperation on this issue and decided to continue the discussion with the ultimate aim of signing a Memorandum of Understanding.

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Cyprus  |  medicine  |  health

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