European Parliament secures cheaper Israeli medicines for EU citizens
Yesterday evening, following a campaign by the Board of Deputies and partner organisations across Europe, the EU passed an Agreement on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance (ACAA) with Israel. The decision by MEPs, by 379 votes to 230, with 41 abstentions, will guarantee that some of the leading drugs in the world, developed and produced by Israel, will now reach European patients quicker and at more affordable prices.
The ACAA is a piece of technical legislation which removes the need for pharmaceutical products produced and safety approved in Israel to be checked for a second time when being imported into the EU. This will reduce both the cost of the medicine and the time it takes to reach the market.
Opponents of the ACAA argued that Israel should be punished for a lack of progress in the Middle East Peace Process, but the Board of Deputies maintained that this important agreement should not be held hostage by the Peace Process, for which the Palestinian Authority also bears responsibility. The PA had its trade agreement with the EU upgraded in October 2011.
Health providers in the EU now stand to save up to 10 billion Euros per year on medicines from Israel, a vital boost during difficult economic times.
The Board’s Director of Public Affairs and Policy, Elizabeth Harris–Sawczenko, commented,
“This agreement, subject to an enormous campaign for postponement from anti-Israel groups such as the PSC and Liberal Democrat Friends of Palestine, is yet another indication that the movement for boycotts, divestment and sanctions is badly stalling. MEPs clearly recognise that a just peace for all people in the Middle East is better secured by increased cooperation rather than increased division.”
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Well done to all for this but we should not be too complacent we had a success but this was no thanks to the UK MEPS who in the majority were against. We need to work harder to get our message across more effectively.