East of England Labour MEP Alex Mayer has called on the Government to protect NHS patients’ access to medicines, as the Shadow Health Secretary, Jonathan Ashworth MP gave a key note speech in Brussels.
Mr Ashworth announced that Labour is committed to keeping the U.K. in the European Medicines Agency.
The EMA is the body that provides scientific evaluation, supervision and safety monitoring of medicines in the EU by ensuring that all medicines available on the EU market are safe, effective and of high quality.
The body drives down costs for drug companies who only need to win one approval that their medicine is safe to use, rather than separate approvals from each country.
Ms Mayer said: “Illnesses and diseases cross borders, so our response should too. It makes complete sense to cooperate closely with our nearest neighbours.”
Figures show that Switzerland, which is not in the European Medicines Agency, gain access to new medicines on average 157 days later than the EU.
Ms Mayer said: “The Swiss experience would be a bitter pill to swallow. Labour won’t put any ideological red lines before the nation’s health - the Tories should make the same commitment.“