EXPORT BANS (23 April 2020)
Since the start of the crisis, Member States have been implementing export bans on certain categories of medicinal products to other EU Member States. Such restrictions have detrimental impact on the availability of medicines in some EU markets and can lead to shortages in other EU Member States, who depend on these imports.
European solidarity is crucial at this moment and GIRP warmly embraces the EC guidelines on optimal and rational supply of essential medicines for COVID-19.
The guidelines call on EU Member States to refrain from imposing blanket export restrictions on medicines or close their borders to medicine movements. The guidelines also remind that many of the current export bans are illegal. Lastly, the guidelines ask Member States to avoid national stockpiling which, as we have seen in the past, can lead to shortages of medicines in neighbouring countries.
Physical access to medicines, especially imports, in these exceptional times must remain a priority and export restrictions should only be applied to the extent necessary for emergency public health reasons.