THE EU Unveils Emergency Plan To Bypass Patents For Faster Access To Key Drugs.
The EU has published documents laying out measures that could be put into action to give faster access to drugs by bypassing patent rights in emergencies and bring production directly to Europe. The proposal has been put forward to address the chronic problem of medicine shortages in the bloc, which has been exacerbated by the ongoing coronavirus outbreak – and the related trade disruptions it has caused.
The four ‘pillar’ strategy detailed by the European Commission is aimed at streamlining the process to ensure generic drugs can be produced at a faster rate, enhancing crisis preparedness and response mechanisms as well as addressing the security of supply. The idea is to do this without having to secure the consent of the patent holders- a process that can years in some cases.
Vice president for the Commission’s ‘Promoting the European Way of Life’ policy area, Margaritis Schinastold, told reporters that the proposal “supports the EU’s pharmaceutical industry to remain competitive and innovative, whilst addressing the needs of the patients and those of our health systems.”
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