EU Countries Slam Transferable Exclusivity Voucher Proposal
A group of EU member states has written to the European Commission saying that an exclusivity voucher scheme intended to stimulate R&D into new antimicrobials will stifle innovation by competitor companies and push up costs for national health systems.
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Although it is not legally binding, a recommendation endorsed this week by the Council of the EU will give countries more tools to tackle the thorny problem of resistance to antimicrobial drugs, according to the Swedish presidency of the council.
Proposals for an EU voucher that would encourage the development of “game-changing” antimicrobials are accompanied by plans for procurement mechanisms to guarantee revenues for companies regardless of sales volumes. But one law firm said the conditions attached to the voucher were so strict that the scheme appeared “unworkable.”
With the proposals for an overhaul of the EU pharmaceutical legislation tentatively scheduled for publication on 29 March, the European industry federation EFPIA claims that the plans as currently drafted will drive investment away and damage the industry’s ability to compete at global scale. But the European Commission insists the revision will boost industry's global competitiveness and innovative power.