A nurse from “L’Arche de Kigobe” trauma center in Bujumbura comes to the structure’s pharmacy to get medicines. Photograph by Evrard Ngendakumana
Technical brief |

MSF Position on the European Commission’s Roadmap for Pharmaceutical Strategy

Photograph by Evrard Ngendakumana

MSF's recommendations for the European Commission's Roadmap for a Pharmaceutical Strategy

The European Commission is currently developing a pharmaceutical strategy to ensure timely patient access to affordable medicines. MSF welcomes the published roadmap for pharmaceutical strategy and the European Commission's attention to affordable medicines.

Responding to an online public consultation by the Commission on the roadmap, MSF has developed a briefing document with some considerations and recommendations based on MSF’s 20 years of experience in addressing  access barriers between people and the medical tools they require.

An effective EU pharmaceutical strategy that aims to improve access and develop products for unmet health needs should acknowledge the drawbacks and flaws of the current R&D model, which treats medical innovations as market commodities. A strengthening of safeguards protecting public health interests is needed. The global COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for effective and affordable health products accessible to everyone.

MSF recommends the following 5 steps to the European Commission to help enable timely access to affordable health products in the EU and beyond:

  1. Review and revise the Supplementary Protection Certificate (SPC) mechanism 
  2. Take legal steps to allow compulsory licensing in the EU 
  3. Implement the World Health Assembly (WHA) transparency resolution 
  4. Conduct a pilot study on leveraging public investments to ensure access 
  5. Refrain from introducing additional harmful financial incentives or exclusive rights