The EU established itself as the world’s pharmacy during the Covid-19 pandemic, European Health Commissioner says

During the Covid-19 pandemic the EU established itself as the world’s pharmacy as it exported half of the vaccine doses produced in the EU and donated around 500 million doses to its international partners, European Health and Food Safety Commissioner, Stella Kyriakides said at the Cyprus Pharmacists Congress, on Saturday. She also underlined the crucial role of pharmacists in dealing with health crises.

According to the text of her speech, the Commissioner said that pharmacists have a crucial and important role to play. “We also count on your future participation in building, together, this stronger European Health Union,” she said, while also emphasising the importance of the role of pharmacists in helping citizens understand that taking antibiotics is not the solution to everything.

She also urged pharmacists to continue the effort for the promotion of booster doses, noting that booster vaccinations are at very low levels in Cyprus.

Kyriakides said that the EU managed to reach strong solutions at the European level, in order to meet the expectations of its citizens, to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, with the main example being the successful EU vaccine strategy, which she described as a “historic success” for the bloc, as it managed to negotiate and procure a vaccine portfolio reaching 4.2 billion doses.

Because of the successful vaccination campaign, more than 73% of the EU population has been fully vaccinated and almost 55% have also received a booster dose, she added.

The Commissioner also said that during the pandemic, the EU established itself as the world’s pharmacy, as it exported half of the doses produced in the EU, while it has donated around 500 million doses to its international partners. According to WHO estimates, the result was that more than 20 million people worldwide have been saved because of vaccines, she added.

She also noted that the new EU Pharmaceutical Strategy will address unmet medical needs, thanks to the development of innovative medicines, while also strengthening the resilience of medicine supply chains in Europe.

In his address, Cyprus’ Health Minister, Michalis Hadjipantela, said that he was looking forward to the establishment of a National Pharmaceutical Authority. The Minister said the Authority will have the same responsibilities and powers as the corresponding European pharmaceutical authorities in terms of the quality, effectiveness and safety of medicines and will be a flexible and efficient Organisation, with decisive contribution to reforms in the field of healthcare.

The Minister also noted the positive contribution of pharmacists in dealing with the pandemic expressing the State’s gratitude to them.

Source: Cyprus News Agency