Medicines for Ireland (MFI), the Irish pharmaceutical trade association, has welcomed the coordinated approach agreed by European Union leaders for the procurement of medicines, medical devices and protective equipment in light of the growing number of Covid-19 cases around Europe.

Commenting, chairperson of Medicines for Ireland, David Delaney said: “The focus by EU leaders to coordinate their public health responses better, including medicine supply, is hugely welcomed by the MFI members. As the coronavirus has no boundaries and is not restricted by boarders, it is important that not only a national, but a transnational approach is taken to ensure the continued supply of medicines and medical devices. This will help ensure patient access and should include joined up thinking by national Governments across Europe, European Union leaders and the EU Commission.”

The discussion around medicine supply formed part of wider emergency talks by European Union leaders via video conference yesterday, as they worked to coordinate a Europe-wide response to the coronavirus epidemic.

Mr Delaney continued: “As the supplier of the majority of medicine in Ireland to the HSE and patients directly, we welcome the coordinated approach led by the Department of Health. MFI is continuing to work directly with the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA), community pharmacists, wholesalers, the Government, the Department of Health and other key stakeholders to address challenges arising from Covid-19. Our members are committed to working within their own companies to ensure stability of supply to all patients and are engaged directly with the Government and State agencies to ensure continuity of supply for medicines to patients in Ireland. This remains the current twin-track focus for MFI.

“It’s important to emphasize that no medicine shortages currently impacting on the Irish market are a result of Covid-19. Irish consumers should be reassured that there will be a continuity of supply of medicines and should be encouraged to talk to their pharmacists and GPs, and not to seek supplies of medicines over and above their normal requirements.”