Revue Prescrire, article en une, Medicines in Europe: Appeal to EU Ministers March 2003
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Medicines in Europe:
Appeal to EU Ministers: don't forget the fundamentals!
The working party preparing the decisive meeting of the Council of Ministers on 2-3 June 2003 is meeting regularly and productively, but several key matters concerning public health have not yet been taken into account.
The Medicines in Europe Forum recalls the areas in which the European draft Regulation on human medicines must be improved.
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Medicines in Europe: campaigning goes on!

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Areas in which the draft Regulation remains to be improved, as of 4 February 2003
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Points that seem to have been accepted and points that must still be defended, as of 4 February 2003, after the Council-Commission compromise
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On 27 January 2003, Costas Stefanis, the Greek health minister, confirmed to the European parliamentary Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Policy that the Greek Presidency would do its utmost to ensure that a regulatory framework for medicinal products is adopted before EU enlargement in 2004 (1).

The working party preparing the decisive meeting of the Council of Ministers on June 2&3, 2003, together with permanent representatives, are trying to reconcile the amendments voted by the European Parliament on 23 October 2002, and the new, softer proposals made by the European Commission. (The new draft Regulation was made public on 10 December; the Directive is due by mid March 2003.)

The working party meets regularly and productively, but a number of key points guaranteeing public health interests have not yet been taken into account in the latest draft Regulation dated 4 February 2003.

Clearly, time is pressing with the forthcoming EU enlargement, as repeatedly stressed by the European Commission (DGE) and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA). But this urgency must not be allowed to overshadow the overriding principles of the EU Treaty, i.e. to guarantee that European citizens have the highest possible level of protection, and that patients have access to the best medical treatments.

©La revue Prescrire for the Medicines in Europe Forum 1 March 2003
1- Mr Costas N. Stefanis, Greek Minister for Health and Welfare "Presentation and questions" European Parliament - Committee on the environment, Public health and Consumer policy 27 January 2003: 2 pages.