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

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.

The European Commission is urging countries to work together to ensure deliveries of medical supplies are maintained. Earlier this week, they published guidelines that present their commitment to ensure the free circulation of medical supplies and protective equipment despite restrictions on transit brought in by many countries.  The sudden restrictions have sparked fears amongst the patient community amongst others that the supply of medical products within the EU may be at risk.

EPF supports the Commission’s guidance that the transport of medicines and medical products – via ‘green lanes’ - should have priority and that current control measures should not undermine the operation of supply chains, in particular of vital medical and protective equipment and supplies. In order to avoid shortages, Member States should also guarantee the supply chain of essential products such as medicines and medical equipment. Fortunately for patients and healthcare workers, no medicine shortages have been reported thus far to the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Yesterday, the European Commission decided to create a strategic rescEU stockpile of medical equipment such as ventilators and protective masks to help EU countries..

During this tumultuous period, EPF calls on continued coordinated EU action by the Commission, Member States and the industry to ensure access to a timely supply of medicines, protective gear and equipment to all patients in Europe.