MedTech Europe’s reaction to the European Commission’s State of the Union
Posted on 14.09.2022
Brussels, 14 September 2022 – Today, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen delivered a powerful State of the Union addressing the necessity for European solidarity in the face of hostility.
Serge Bernasconi, CEO of MedTech Europe, commented: “We wholeheartedly agree with President Ursula von der Leyen’s remarks about the need for European solidarity with Ukraine in these times. With the energy crisis and the global strain on supply chains, the medical technology sector in Europe is facing challenging times ahead. Now more than ever, it is essential that Europe does not lose sight of its commitment in building resilient and reliable health systems.”
To that end, we will need the Commission’s full support in building a fully operational system to the sectoral regulations (Medical Devices and In Vitro Diagnostics Regulations). In parallel, the EU is equipping itself with a new and pioneer legislative framework on digital health: this is a unique opportunity to unlock the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and health data across Europe.
The aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic combined with the war in Ukraine is having a detrimental effect on access to medical technologies in Europe. Medical technology companies are facing uphill challenges in accessing and sourcing key materials for production and maintenance, such as semiconductors. Our sector is putting tremendous efforts to ensure the continued delivery of millions of lifesaving and life-improving technologies for the benefit of patients and healthcare systems. We welcome the President’s announcement of a European Critical Raw Materials Act and the proposed Chips Act to secure the continuity of supply chains in the mid-term. However, we also urge the Commission to implement urgent short-term solutions prioritising the needs of the European healthcare sector.
As President von der Leyen noted “gas prices have risen by more than 10 times compared to before the pandemic.” The rising energy costs are also heavily impacting the healthcare sector in its various production, assembly, delivery, storage activities posing a direct threat to diagnostics and patients’ treatment. In this context, we strongly support the Commission President’s ambition to reform the electricity market with the aim to decouple the influence of gas on electricity prices.
Knowing these challenges, MedTech Europe is looking forward to supporting the European Commission in prioritising that citizens in Europe can continue to rely on resilient and well-functioning healthcare systems.