The Malta Independent 18 September 2019, Wednesday

EU states need to cooperate on pricing of pharmaceuticals – Chris Fearne

Wednesday, 12 September 2018, 12:19 Last update: about 2 years ago

EU member states need to cooperate on medicine prices, Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne said during a meeting of EU Health Ministers in Vienna.

Fearne, who is also Malta's Health Minister, said that last year a group of member states - the Valletta Group - made up of Malta, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Romania, Croatia and Slovenia, worked on building a stronger relationship with the pharmaceutical industry.

The first major challenge was to build trust, he said, while warning that if there is no cooperation on prices, then the decisions on said pricing would be taken out of their hands.

In a seperate intervention in Vienna, the Deputy Prime Minister highlighted the importance of technology in the health sector.

He said that the internet, artificial intelligence and blockchain are and will continue having an impact on healthcare. He said that Health Ministers, and even the EU Comission should be the ones to drive development in digital health technology.

Through blockchain, he said, medical information could be gathered,

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