On 22nd April 2016, in Vilnius, Lithuania, EFPIA Director General Richard Bergström and Lithuanian Minister of Health Juras Pozela discussed the implementation of the Stability Agreement concluded between the industry and the Lithuanian authorities in 2014, and running until 2016. They furthermore signed a letter of intent providing for a new agreement for collaboration in 2017-2020.

The purpose of this agreement is to boost health outcomes for patients in Lithuania by improving access to new, innovative medicines and ensuring  necessary budgetary planning is in place to make room for these innovations, and also to make Lithuania more attractive for medical research.

Minister Pozela explained that Lithuania was planning to introduce a mechanism that would optimise the availability of innovative medicines to patients at prices matching the country’s ability to pay.  He also said that Lithuania was aiming to create a transparent evaluation system for innovative medicines. Finally the Minister wants to attract valuable industry investment to Lithuania.

Richard Bergström said that innovative medicines are essential to ensure the sustainability of health systems.

“Patients and society as a whole will benefit from collaboration between Lithuania and the pharmaceutical industry. It offers an opportunity for health professionals to train and develop their skills. This public-private partnership has already proved a success in many European countries,” Bergström added.

He emphasised that beyond access to medicines, currently the pharmaceutical industry – led by EFPIA – is focusing on the creation of a European Medicines Verification mechanism, aimed at combatting the emergence of counterfeit medicines in the legitimate supply chain, and on the Transparency on Transfers of value between the industry and healthcare professionals/organisations.

The meeting was also attended by Vice Minister of Health Valentinas Gavrilovas, Jura Smilgaite, Chairwoman of the Board of the Innovative Pharmaceutical Industry Association (IFPA), and Leonas Kaletinas, Director of IFPA. IFPA is the Lithuanian member association of EFPIA.