A Labour MEP has called for better research on cancers affecting youths and other diseases targeting younger cohorts alongside a demand for cheaper and more accessible medication for rare illnesses.
“We live in a reality in which small countries are often passed on by big pharmaceutical companies because they see that there aren’t enough sales in our smaller markets,” Cyrus Engerer said in an interview with ONE.
Emphasising that some companies do choose to supply smaller countries, like Malta, they raise the selling prices a lot higher than they would for larger nations.
“This isn’t right. And this is why I am raising this cause to the health committee of the European Parliament,” he continued.
Engerer then pointed at the vaccination system as a positive example of how medication should be administered and priced.
“Us as Maltese emphasised the importance of full accessibility of the COVID-19 vaccine. We worked hard to achieve this, and for the first time in European history, the vaccine was bought by the European commission and all member states purchased enough doses for their whole population with the lowest possible prices,” he explained.
Engerer is additionally calling for more cooperation in the health sector between all member states of the EU to replicate this system in the general administration of all medication, especially those that treat rare illnesses.
“The interest of the patient comes first.”
Engerer also argued for more European investment in the research of medicine, especially those that are used by children.
He explained that he was “shocked” when he discovered that the majority of treatments that are used to fight against cancer in children don’t exist because child trials are very rare.
“For this reason, we need stronger research so that we can develop medication and treatments with children at the centre of the research. This should be done for all childhood illnesses, not just cancer,” he said.
“Together we can make a difference so that this stops happening.”
Do you agree with Engerer’s call?