News - September 12, 2019

EUCOPE meeting with Maltese Health Minister

Earlier this month, the Maltese Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Health, Mr Chris Fearne, met with EUCOPE to discuss issues pertaining to transparency and access to medicines.

This meeting took place against the background of the ongoing activities of the Valetta Declaration – which, inter alia, aims at exploring strategies to negotiate prices with the industry and perform a horizon scanning of innovative therapies – and the recent WHO Resolution on improving the transparency of market for drugs, vaccines and other health-related technologies. At the meeting, Mr Fearne stressed the importance of aiming for increased transparency in pricing mechanisms, and his keenness to put this high on both the Council’s and the European Parliament’s agendas.

EUCOPE, in response, elaborated on the expected benefits of European joint clinical HTA, if properly set up. With regards to transparency, EUCOPE clarified that, whilst appreciating countries’ objective to ensure that pharmaceutical prices are justified and citizens have equal access to innovation, the WHO proposed measures seemed to fall short. Other solutions such as transparency of processes on value assessment and price agreements, innovative financing tools, improved HTA, etc, would contribute to guaranteeing long-term sustainability. Confirming its willingness and availability to participate to future roundtable discussions, EUCOPE also suggested inviting small and mid-sized innovative companies whose therapies will fall under the scope of the Valetta Declaration’s activities.