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European Commission places medicines under DG-SANCO's competence

The President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, has decided to transfer the management of pharmaceuticals and medical devices policies from the Directorate General-Enterprise (DG-E) to the DG-SANCO (Health and Consumer Policy).

This was a long-standing request from many civil society stakeholders, supported by the Medicines in Europe Forum and International Society of Drugs Bulletins, of which Prescrire is a member.

Pharmaceuticals and medical devices cannot be considered as "normal" consumer products. The European Commission’s proposals made in December 2008 ("pharmaceutical package") illustrate the unbalanced approach taken by DG-E: pharmaceutical companies' short-term profitability and industrial competitiveness are favoured at the expense of public health. In order to put EU citizens' needs and concerns first, public health should be the main driver for pharmaceutical and medical device policies in Europe.

If the new Commission is effectively approved by the Parliament in January 2010, MiEF and ISDB expect that the leading role of DG-SANCO will give a new start to the European Commission’s approach to health and medicines, putting patients' needs first.

> Click here to download the Joint Press Release (pdf, 163 Ko).

> Click here for Prescrire's online Dossier "Medicines in Europe".

©Prescrire January 2010

Source: International Society of Drug Bulletins, Medicines in Europe Forum