Policy paper 289

For a secure supply of pharmaceutical products

Recommended citation:

Marchais I. 2023. “For a secure supply of pharmaceutical products“, Policy paper 289, Paris: Jacques Delors Institute, 27 march.


Long viewed as the “pharmacy of the world”, Europe still boasts a powerful, innovative and multifaceted industry that contributes to economic growth and employs hundreds of thousands of people in companies of varying sizes and positions. However, in recent years it has been suffering from major supply shortages for medicines, further exacerbated by the health crisis and the war in Ukraine.

This problem, caused by a combination of many internal and external factors, has many ramifications for patients, doctors and healthcare systems. EU Member States and institutions must therefore find ambitious initiatives as a matter of priority.

The European Commission is gearing towards presenting a major overhaul of the pharmaceutical framework with this objective. Its goal is twofold: to guarantee access to affordable quality healthcare for all citizens and to help the continent to strengthen its health independence, undermined by the outsourcing of a rising share of the production of certain active pharmaceutical ingredients (API).