The International Conference "3A's: Availability, Accessibility and Sustainability of Medicines and Medical Devices", organized by INFARMED, started this morning. In the opening session, the speakers highlighted the importance of international collaboration and cooperation and praised the effort to gather in the Conference the main agents in Medicines sector.
The World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General, Tedros Ghebreyesus, highlighted in his speech that a stronger Europe is "essential for social, economic and political stability" at the global level. After welcoming the European reform initiatives, Tedros Ghebreyesus listed "3 specific areas in which action is needed": the first mentioned was a "closer collaboration" in order to "shorten distances" between countries and support more research and development.
The director-general also called for greater efforts to achieve a "consistent nomenclature" that is more accessible to "users”. Finally, he advocated a policy of "transparent pricing" that would promote competitiveness and secure the supply chain.
Also at the opening of the conference, the Minister of Health, Marta Temido, defended the strengthening of "cooperation both at the European and global levels" in the Medicines area, classifying this effort as a requirement to "guarantee higher levels of quality of life for our citizens".
After recognizing that there is still a long way to go, the minister presented the goals set by the Presidency in order to fight inequality in access to medication: "the strengthening of strategic autonomy in the production and distribution of medicines and ensuring the sustainability of our health systems.
The European Commissioner for Health, Stella Kyriakides, focused her intervention on the Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe. After listing the measures already taken, such as the reform of the incentive system and the speeding up of authorization procedures, Stella Kyriakides stated that the success of this initiative depended on collaboration and coordination between European and national entities. And concluded that the 3'As Conference was "part of that process" and "exactly what we need" to "fulfill what we owe to our citizens".
Dolors Monserrat, who participated as an MEP for the Environment and Public Health Committee, praised the cooperation and collaboration efforts within the EU, pointing out as an example the vaccine program and recalling that this week 29 million units would be distributed, which represented a "record". The MEP also highlighted the European Parliament's initiatives within the European Union Health Package, highlighting the approval in recent days of the Civil Protection Mechanism.
The President of INFARMED thanked the participants for attending the Conference and expressed his hope that the event would allow to "identify concrete measures" that could be transformed into Portuguese Presidency proposals for Council Conclusions.