The new Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe is an opportunity to regain the european supply of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients according to AFAQUIM


The European Commission presented last Wednesday the European Pharmaceutical Strategy, a series of proposals with which Brussels aims to boost the level of competitiveness in biopharmaceutical innovation and drug delivery in the continent.

The Pharmaceutical Active Principles (APIs)  industry is the  first and necessary link in the pharmaceutical industry, and one of the strategic sectors for Europe, as the coronavirus pandemic is showing, both for its contribution to health and quality of life and for its potential to contribute to the continental sanitary, economic and social reconstruction following the unprecedented crisis triggered by SARS-CoV-2. In this context, the European Commission presented last Wednesday the European Pharmaceutical Strategy, a series of proposals with which Brussels aims to boost the level of competitiveness in biopharmaceutical innovation and drug delivery in the continent.

The European pharmaceutical industry, as a whole, including APIs’ manufacturers, hopes that this Strategy, which must be implemented and developed over the next year, will be able to create the conditions for Europe to become the world leader in innovation and production again.

The patient-centered strategy unveiled by Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides and Vice-President Margaritis Schinas aims to ensure the quality and safety of medicines in the EU while boosting the sector’s global competitiveness. Building on the EU’s strong foundations and comprehensive pharmaceuticals system, it will ensure that patients have access to high-quality, effective and safe medicines

It also specifically mentions the need to increase the competitiveness of the pharmaceutical sector in Europe and focuses one of its four lines of action on fostering and ensuring a strong supply chain for the European pharmaceutical market.

The European Fine Chemicals Group (EFCG), the European representation of AFAQUIM, noted that "the unprecedented global health crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has hit Europe especially and highlighted our continent's weakness in terms of strategic health autonomy.

Europe has gradually lost its ability to manufacture molecules critical to the formulation of essential medicines. As a result, Europe's dependence on other regions of the world poses an unacceptable risk to the European health system. In recent years, the increase of shortages of essential medicines in Europe not only has created a health security risk to patients but has also imposed a high financial burden on health systems.

Manufacturers of Fine Chemical products, especially Pharmaceutical Active Ingredients (APIs) and their intermediates, provide a solid foundation on which to build a resilient and sustainable European pharmaceutical industry that is competitive, innovative and sustainable. They are the last guarantee of Europe's strategic sanitary autonomy, providing critical molecules along the value chain of essential medicines and adapting their production to the needs of the health industry, especially during medical crises. Strengthening this industry will contribute strongly to prevent future shortages from affecting European patients and ensuring a robust and resilient supply chain.

Spanish APIs manufacturers, represented by AFAQUIM as its business association, are production leaders in Europe. Spain is the third ranked European country in terms of production, and represent 5% of the world's production of these raw materials, so their consolidation and support could be a strong incentive for our recovery.

EFCG, already created a specific task force in 2018 to tackle the then emerging issue of medicine supply chain risks. Throughout the last months, EFCG has been working closely with the European Commission to identify the root causes of medicines shortages, map the existing industrial network and propose a series of measures to be rapidly implemented at EU level within the framework of the Pharmaceutical Roadmap.

Other world regions (like USA, India and China) have wasted no time in launching strong initiatives to ensure their health sovereignty. Europe cannot afford to fall behind, and we are happy that the European Commission plans to implement, as quickly as possible, robust measures that will ensure its own self-reliance.

R&D and drug supply chains promotion policies, in addition to the progress that can be made for many orphan diseases can enable Europe to take advantage of the global economy and create new employment and growth opportunities. It could help achieve another of the objectives of the Strategy: to recover some of the essential drug production that has relocated to Asia in recent times.


The Active and Intermediate Pharmaceutical Principles manufacturing sector in Spain  has  a turnover of over 2.2 billion Euros and an exports around 80%.of its production.

Despite global price competition, especially in developing countries, the sector has responded with quality and service and maintains a constant line of yearly growth of over 5%. Spain is the third largest European country in the production of pharmaceutical raw materials, well above its industrial position among other nations.

AFAQUIM is comprised by 32 companies, some integrated in international groups, although most are independent manufacturers.



 Contact / Information


Angela López Berrocal – Comunications

Tel.: +34 91 866 42 92/+34 666 513994 -



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