The issue of access to medicines is at the crossroads of research, health and industrial policies. It is a global issue, with on one hand the lack of efficient, new and safe treatments for diseases affecting vulnerable populations such as Tuberculosis and on the other hand, access constraints to innovative therapies against hepatitis or cancer in both poor and rich countries.
Research priorities and prices of medicines alike, are today partly defined according to industrial and trade policy considerations, at the cost of public health needs. This situation results from a historical lack of transparency of the health product market : information linked to public biomedical R&D financing, research and production costs from the pharmaceutical industry are neither available nor public. However, this data is key to define faire prices and allow citizen and their representatives to ensure good management of public financing and evaluation of R&D policies.
Considering budgetary restrictions and access to essential medicines being increasingly put into question even by richer countries, and, it is necessary to rethink our health systems in order to guarantee access to treatment for all. We’re asking France to:
- Fix fair and accessible prices for molecules, including innovative ones, in order to reduce the global envelope dedicated to medicines and ensure as a result sustainability of our health finances and equitable access to health products for patients.
- Reorient its R&D spending towards underfinanced priority public health sectors which do not represent a market opportunity such as poverty-related diseases and anti-microbial resistance.
- Develop an ambitious accountability policy for its R&D spending, with full transparency of public funds dedicated to R&D in order to reinforce the negotiation capacity of States on the pharmaceutical market. This accountability mechanism on traceability of public R&D funds will have to take into account all types of public financing (managed by the EU, co-managed or directly managed by France) as well as tax credits for R&D (such as the research tax credits for instance). Transparency needs to be implemented at all level : from medical research and its financing to price negotiations for health products until commercialisation.
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Open letterTime to use EU Research funds for better purposes than industry-controlled PPPs 10 July 2020