The European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) welcomed the outcome of the review. Following the adoption of the pharma package by the Council, EFPIA said in a press release that "this reform will encourage pharmaceutical research and provide more rapid access by patients to new medicinal products".
"All sides of industry should benefit from the new system," said Greg Perry, Director-General of the European Generic medicines Association (EGA). In particular, the EGA welcomed the fact that existing products would not be able to claim additional data exclusivity retrospectively as the increased data protection period will only apply to new products submitted after the law comes into force.
Eucomed, the European Medical Technology Industry Association regretted that an amendment was approved - following the second reading in the European Parliament (17 December) - which suggested the primacy of the revised directive 2001/83/EC on medicinal products for human use in case of doubt over whether a certain product belonged in the category of food, cosmetics or medical devices. Eucomed has argued that only products exerting a pharmacological action as their primary intended mode of action should fall under the scope of the new directive.
The Pharmaceutical Group of the European Union (PGEU) has welcomed the European Parliament's "no" as regards information on medicines for AIDS, asthma and diabetes coming directly from the producer. The PGEU feels that there is no guarantee in place to prevent "information" from becoming "advertising". In addition, the PGEU is in favour of making the Patient Information Leaflet that accompanies medicines more patient-friendly.
The European Consumers Organisation (BEUC) was also strongly opposed to the Commission's proposal to allow information on prescription medicines. It argues that this type of advertising leads to huge increases in spending on medicines and distorts prescribing behaviour, while not informing patients better. "[Pharmaceutical companies] are not the best judges of what patients need to know about side effects, about alternatives to drug therapy, or about other cheaper or more effective medicines," stated Jim Murray, director of BEUC.
Both Health Action International (HAI) and the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) have expressed their opposition to any legislation that would weaken the ban on Direct-to-Consumers Advertising.