Expensive medicine is a threat to sustainability of healthcare in Europe, Fearne says

Health minister Chris Fearne told delegates in Austria that transparency in how medicine prices are negotiated would guarantee a stronger European health sector

Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne
Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne

The expensive prices of new medicine is a threat to healthcare services in Europe and to their attempt to private the best possible treatments to patients, Health Minister Chris Fearne said, adding that the way prices for medicine are negotiated in Europe needs to change. 

Speaking at the European Health Forum in Gastein, Austrian, Fearne said that if the negotation of prices in Europe doesn't change, it could have an adverse effect on the public sector of European countries in the future.

"Expensive prices of new medicine are not only a threat to the sustainabilty of healthcare services across Europe, but are preventing member states from providing the best and most advanced treatments to detriment of the health of the European population," Fearne told delegates, adding that Europe had to find a long-term solution.

He mentioned how Malta during its EU Presidency contributed to a solution when the Valletta Declaration was signed, which included ten member states agreeing on negotiation terms with pharmaceutical companies.

"EU member states have to work and collaborate in this sector to strengthen the public sector in the future. The pharmaceutical industry also needs to work on this issue. The next step is for there to be transparency in how prices for new medicine are agreed on," Fearne said.