Measures to Protect Patient Rights by Monitoring the European Pharmaceutical Market
Keywords:European competition law, the pharmaceutical sector, patients' rights, high quality drugs, research and innovation, generic drugs, competition at the level of the European Union
AbstractThe pharmaceutical sector is vital to the health of European citizens, who must have access to innovative, safe and affordable medicinal products. The operation of the pharmaceutical sector at Community level is based on four dimensions: regulation, integration, competition and innovation. Given its importance for health services, the existing regulatory framework in this area should not include unnecessary regulatory constraints restricting and limiting competition. Considering this fact, this article analyzes the existing control in competition law on the pharmaceutical market achieved at EU level. Currently, the free movement of goods is regulated by many policies and harmoniously fits within a responsible domestic market, which guarantees the unimpeded access to high quality products and provides a high degree of protection of other objectives of public interest. Given the fact that medicinal products are commodities, this article examines how, by monitoring the pharmaceutical market, patients are guaranteed the right to high quality medicines. This paper also aims to present the complex mechanisms of the pharmaceutical sector that have undergone a careful and consistent analysis both the European Commission and the Competition Council.
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