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Controversial Shuffle for EC Pharma Policy

As part of incoming President Jean-Claude Juncker’s reshuffle of the EC Commission, responsibility for health technology and pharmaceutical policy is being shifted from the Health and Food Safety Commissioner to the Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs.

The decision has been greeted with alarm by public health organizations; among others, the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) and European Consumer Organization have released statements condemning the move, claiming that the change will impede the Health Commissioner’s ability to manage a coordinated response to a public health crisis, such as a major disease outbreak. They are also concerned about the potential to skew drug policy towards the interests of pharmaceutical companies.

In protest, the EPHA – whose members include nearly 100 public health NGOs across Europe – has withdrawn its support for the proposed Health for Citizen’s Intergroup in the European Parliament. In a statement, the Alliance said “This change makes our support for the proposed Intergroup untenable and in direct contradiction with our core position that health and healthcare should be led by public health interests and the public good.”

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  1. EPHA Press Release, “Juncker puts Europe’s security at risk by promoting profit over public health” (September, 2014).
About the Author
Charlotte Barker

As an Editor at Texere, I’m working closely with our audience to create vibrant, engaging content that reflects the hard work and passion that goes into bringing new medicines to market. I got my start in biomedical publishing as a commissioning editor for healthcare journals and have spent my career covering everything from early-stage research to clinical medicine, so I know my way around. And I can’t think of a more interesting, challenging or important area to be working in.

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