EPF statements on COVID19

The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has highlighted the challenge of protecting the health of the population whilst avoiding disruptions to the free movement of persons, and the delivery of goods and essential services across Europe. At the same time there are serious concerns about the capacity of our health systems during this rapid outbreak. To this end EPF have issued a series of statements, outlined below.

EPF Statement on the COVID-19 Pandemic

EPF calls on EU Member States to act rapidly and follow WHO’s advice to contain the spread of COVID-19 as far as possible, testing widely, and taking measures to ensure that health systems have sufficient capacity. Read more here>>>

The EU needs to Guarantee the Delivery and Supply of Cross-Border Medical products during the COVID-19 Outbreak

EPF backs the Commission’s guidance that the transport of medicines and medical products should have priority and that current control measures should not undermine the operation of supply chains. Read more here>>>

Now is the Time to Protect Patients and Safeguard Access to Care

Patients with chronic diseases – numbering at least 150 million in the EU – are among the most vulnerable, as many are at much higher risk of serious illness and death from COVID-19, but also because patients are directly exposed to disruptions in healthcare provision. Treatment delay and discontinuation are very real concerns for certain groups of patients such as cancer patients for example. Clarity on what is happening in terms of access to ongoing treatments, therapies and procedures in place is urgently needed for many chronic disease patient communities. Read more here>>>

An Open Memo to the Health Industry

Given the profound concerns of EPF member organisations regarding the impact of COVID-19 on their communities, EPF shared an Open Memo to health industry representatives outlining the main challenges for patients with chronic diseases and our expectations regarding their on-going commitment and contribution in these unprecedented times. The Open Memo underlines the important role and responsibilities of industry as we perceive them, underpinned by core ethical principles and fairness, the meaningful role that patient organisations can and should play, and the need for cooperation in managing the crisis in order to ensure accessibility and affordability. We have undertaken a similar exercise with other stakeholders.
The Open Memo also emphasises the importance of extracting key learnings from the COVID-19 situation that will help us move forward, collectively, towards deeper health cooperation at European level, for the benefit of patients and citizens.
Here are the responses received from EFPIA, Medicines for Europe, MedTech Europe, AESGP, EUCOPE, COCIR and EuropaBio

A very sincere thanks to all involved for your engagement. Other industry health stakeholders have also been in touch with EPF and their responses will be published over the next few days.

Patients’ safety must take precedence in EU coronavirus vaccination deals

An effective vaccine will be the key to bringing the COVID-19 pandemic under control. Understandably, vaccine developers are under pressure to bring products to the market as quickly as possible, and authorities to approve them. While EPF appreciates the efforts made by industry and regulators to speed up the process, we stress that patient safety must be the highest priority. Regulatory ‘shortcuts’ must not lead to lowering the standards of safety or efficacy that should remain under the strict control of EMA. Read more here>>>