The European Commission announced the established a Pharmaceutical Forum in Europe today to improve the information on medicine given to patients, ensure faster access to medicine and to better regulate the prices charged.

The Pharmaceutical Forum, co-chaired by Commission Vice-President Günter Verheugen and Commissioner Markos Kyprianou, will investigate structural and public health issues that affect the pharmaceuticals industry.

We need to look urgently at the structural issues affecting the competitiveness of the industry and respond to these challenges. The purpose of the Pharmaceutical Forum is to push forward to deliver concrete results by June next year,” Verheugen said, who is responsible for enterprise and industry policy.

The forum will investigate the pricing policies in the EU member states so as to determine a balance between controlling expenditure, improving access to medicines and rewarding innovation. The next Pharmaceutical Forum is likely to be held in June 2007.