PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY FOR HEALTH: Southern European health ministers in Malta to discuss better access to medicinal products

Minister for Health Chris Fearne and Italian Health Minister Beatrice Lorenzin hosted a meeting with Spanish, Portuguese, Greek, and Cypriot health ministers.

The meeting focused on potential initiatives for joint collaboration amongst Southern European countries aiming at better access to effective and affordable medicinal products in a sustainable manner.

The pharmaceutical sector in the European Union is continuously evolving because of scientific developments and innovation, while demographic changes, advances in the health of EU citizens, as well as socio-economic developments all have an impact on the needs of patients and the functioning of public health systems. Furthermore, the high prices of some innovative medicinal products are placing a disproportionate stress on most member states’ health systems.

In the context of this scenario new approaches including ones that foster voluntary cooperation between countries to ensure that the pharmaceutical system truly functions for the benefit of patients, need to be sought.

During the meeting the health ministers discussed strengthening collaboration to negotiate better prices for medicines and medical products.

All six health ministers agreed that it is opportune for Southern European countries to work closer on a regional basis in order to improve better access and affordability of medicines for both the benefit of patients and their respective health systems which need to be continuously supported and sustained for the future.

Source: Government of Malta