Stefan-Zrinzo-Azzopardi

Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds, Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi, reiterated Malta’s position on the need for a genuine EU Single Market for pharmaceuticals.

The need for reform in the EU pharmaceutical market was recently raised by Prime Minister Robert Abela, who highlighted that with the UK’s departure from the EU, Malta has lost its main vehicle to supply medicines for locals.

Among several issues, a key sticking point is that whilst the EU is able to approve medicines for all its member nations’ markets, those medicines are currently not necessarily made available for acquisition by all member states.

In addition, while addressing an informal General Affairs Council meeting, Mr Zrinzo Azzopardi stressed the importance of learning “ from the experience of the COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure equal access to pharmaceuticals in all the European Member States.” 

He remarked that the “situation should ideally be that once a medicinal product is placed on the market, it should be available to all Member States.” The Parliamentary Secretary called on the European Commission to propose solutions in the short, medium, and long-term.

Mr Zrinzo Azzopardi also stressed the importance of accelerating the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines and ensuring delivery schedules are adhered to by pharmaceutical companies.

The agenda of the informal General Affairs was mainly taken up with the finalisation of the preparations for the Informal European Council meeting that will be held in virtual format later on this week. Among other themes, the European Democracy Action Plan and the Conference on the Future of Europe and EU-UK relations were also discussed.

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