REINSTATING EUROPE AS A GLOBAL HUB FOR ESSENTIAL MEDICINES
“The European medicines supply chain currently depends for more than 74% on supplies sourced from Asia. As witnessed during the Covid-19 outbreak, this puts European healthcare systems at risk” was one of the messages shared by representatives of the European Fine Chemicals Group (EFCG), a sector group of Cefic, at the European Commission’s kick-off meeting of the structured dialogue on the EU Pharmaceutical Strategy on 26 February 2021.
The pharmaceutical supply chain is global and complex. To produce the final drug that we can purchase in our pharmacy or be administered by our physician, we need starting materials, Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) and excipients that are sourced from all over the globe.
Europe was formerly the global hub for the development and production of medicines but it has gradually lost its prominence to other world regions. The resulting European strong dependence on Asia in recent years has increased occurrences of shortages of essential medicines, constituting a health safety risk for European patients and placing a heavy burden on healthcare systems.
EFCG members welcome the Commission’s Pharmaceutical Strategy that sets a clear objective of building an open strategic autonomy for the European Health Industry. They also fully support the Commission’s initiative to launch a structured dialogue to identify the root causes of the vulnerabilities of the European pharmaceutical supply chain and propose solutions to ensure its future resilience. Within this structured dialogue, we will be able to coordinate our efforts to build robust, reliable, competitive and sustainable manufacturing capabilities.
Other world regions have wasted no time in launching strong initiatives to ensure their health sovereignty. The United States, China, India, Japan have taken concrete measures to drastically reduce their dependence from other world regions while relying on local manufacturers.
EFCG considers that regaining Europe's health autonomy will greatly depend on its ability to maintain and develop its existing industrial base as well as invest in innovative and sustainable technologies. Our member companies are committed to taking on this challenge and will work closely with the European Commission and across the entire value chain to set the best conditions to improve the resilience of European healthcare system.
EFCG was formed in 2004 to be the focus, forum and voice of the European fine chemicals and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients manufacturers. We are a non-profit international sector group within Cefic, the Brussels-based European Chemical Industry Council.