EU Medicines Manifesto: put the health of European citizens first

There is increasing pressure on access to affordable, innovative medicines for many European citizens. Change is urgently needed. This key message emerges from the joint manifesto by several members of the Medicines Network Netherlands (Medicijnen Netwerk Nederland), of which Wemos is a member. The publication of the manifesto anticipates the European Parliament elections to be held on 23 May 2019.

The manifesto calls on current and prospective members of the European Parliament from the Netherlands to put citizens first in European health policy. The original (English) manifesto was an initiative of the European Alliance for Responsible R&D and Affordable Medicines. The organisations identify four priority issues:


  1. public return on public investment;
  2. a sustainable Research & Development system;
  3. healthy competition and trade;
  4. real innovation and patients’ safety.


While many European countries have been able to provide high standards of healthcare, there is pressure on the quality of and access to care as a result of economic policy geared towards growth and maximisation of profits. The ever-increasing prices of medicines are becoming unaffordable for both patients and health systems. This development is unacceptable to Wemos. Healthcare is a fundamental right and the majority of European citizens want the EU to do more for their health as well as that of others.


Tom Buis (global health advocate at Wemos): ‘We hope that this manifesto will help future members of the European Parliament to realise the importance of reforming the medicines policy within Europe.’


Wide support for our appeal
So far, the following organisations have signed the manifesto:

Commons Network
Dokters van de Wereld
Health Action International
Stichting Farma ter Verantwoording (Pharmaceutical Accountability Foundation)
Nederlandse Cystic Fibrosis Stichting (Dutch Cystic Fibrosis Foundation)
Patiëntenfederatie Nederland
Open State Foundation
DWARS (GroenLinkse Jongeren)
Jonge Democraten

Individual signatories:
Alexa ter Horst, General Practitioner
Hans van der Linde, General Practitioner
Bas Eickhout, GroenLinks and Spitzenkandidat for the Greens (European Parliament)
Wim van Harten, chairman Board of governors (Rijnstate Arnhem)
Efraïm Hart, candidate ChristenUnie (European Parliament)
Carin Uyl-de Groot, professor (Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management)
Arnout Hoekstra, frontrunner Socialist Party (European Parliament)
Anja Hazekamp, frontrunner Party for the Animals (European Parliament)
Paul Tang, Labour Party (European Parliament)
Sophie in ’t Veld, frontrunner D66 (European Parliament)


Ella Weggen (global health advocate at Wemos): ‘The EU holds the key to safeguarding the sustainability of our health system, which is to ensure that all European patients can access the medicines which they need.’


More information about our medicines programma can be found here

Visit our knowledge platform for more information, fact sheets, infographics and reports

Have a look at our infographic: The system of medicine development & what EU & the Netherlands can do about it


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