Medicinal products

Structured Dialogue initiative - Launch event

26 February 2021

The European Commission launched the structured dialogue initiative on 26 February 2021. This high-level event gathered Vice-President Margaritis Schinas, Commissioner Stella Kyriakides and Commissioner Thierry Breton.

High-level representatives of EU countries, the chemical and pharmaceutical industry, patients and health professionals’ representatives and members of the research community were also present.

The purpose of this event was to discuss the participants’ commitment to the objective of increasing EU’s resilience and also to discuss their contribution to the process of the structured dialogue. 

During phase 1, this process will focus on filling knowledge gaps, and also on confirming the priority working areas and key questions to be addressed.

Presentations

The first panel focused on vulnerabilities of the supply chains

The second panel focused on the conditions for the robust supply chains

Summary

All speakers underlined the collaborative nature of the process, the importance of active engagement by all stakeholders by providing expertise, collecting and sharing data and information to build evidence for future actions. 

Stakeholder representatives showed willingness to engage and contribute to the discussion about EU resilience throughout the dialogue process. 

Participants agreed that the road towards robustness must not focus only on the current situation but also on looking ahead in order to prepare for the future. The ability to maintain and optimise open and well-functioning supply chains will require long-term policy measures to accelerate innovative and green production capacities.

Participants also highlighted that the challenges to the manufacturing capability and capacity from the perspective of supply security depend on the form of products (solid, sterile/aseptic or complex molecules).

Speakers recommended considering a number of key topics within the work streams proposed. Namely:

  • regulatory flexibility
  • public private collaboration and support for investment
  • ensuring avoidance of protectionism.

Speakers also called for sustainable market conditions to improve resilience, investment in green production and reduction in environmental footprint.

Representatives of health professionals and patients stressed the relevance of the subject from the perspective of the patients. 

As these are directly exposed to disruptions resulting from vulnerabilities in the supply chain, there should be a focus addressing public health aspects to ensure that patients and health professionals can receive the products they need.