COCIR Welcomes Adoption of European Health Union building blocks

Brussels – 4 October 2022

The European Health Union creates a structured Union-level health security framework to ensure adequate preparedness and response to future health threats

COCIR, the European Trade Association representing the medical imaging, radiotherapy, health ICT and electromedical industries, welcomes European Parliament's adoption of the final European Health Union building blocks – the cross-border health threats regulation and the extended mandate for the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control [ECDC].

The pandemic highlighted the need for a a more robust and structured Union-level health security framework using digital transformation and multi-level collaboration as vehicles to improve surveillance, preparedness, early-warning and response to potential cross-border health crises.

COCIR supports the measures included in the European Health Union package, as they could sustain the EU Member States improve their prevention, preparedness, and response plans. The new European Health Emergency Response Authority, 'HERA', together with the strengthened key EU health agencies – the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, ‘ECDC’, and the European Medicines Agency, ‘EMA’ –will coordinate the collection of timely and comparable EU-wide data, and the effective monitoring of potential shortages in medical devices and medicines.

However, we wish to reiterate that the roles of these EU bodies should be adequately defined to prevent overlapping actions and unnecessary duplication of work. For the industry sectors represented by COCIR, the setup of single-entry points of data is crucial to ensure structured and secure data collection and management. Single entry points would give a clear overview of existing health risks and shortages in medicines and medical devices, facilitating the promotion of adapted strategies – such as stockpiling and improved joint procurement.

The COVID-pandemic reminded us that in today’s connected world, we cannot afford to tackle health threats and crises of scale in isolation. After today’s vote in the European Parliament, the European Health Union is one step closer to becoming a reality. The new EU measures come at the right time, and if implemented efficiently, they will considerably support the national health systems to become future proof. To that end, COCIR welcomes the continued structured dialogue with HERA, ECDC and EMA’, said Annabel Seebohm, COCIR Secretary General.

For more information, contact:

Annabel Seebohm
COCIR Secretary General        
Tel: +32 (0)2 706 8961