Health has moved to the very top of the European Commission’s agenda and to the epicentre of policymaking over the last three years, as the COVID-19 pandemic laid bare the urgent imperative to build a resilient and strong European Health Union.
We have seen the strengthening of agencies (ECDC, EMA), the creation of a new authority (HERA), and a range of new actions and goals for digital transformation and global health security. However, with medicines accounting for roughly one-fifth of Europe’s health spend, the major channel through which the EU shapes health systems is invariably via pharmaceutical legislation. The Commission’s November 2020 Pharmaceutical Strategy is a response not only to internal market issues, but also to global competition pressure in the sector.
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