Darias stresses the importance of continuing to make progress on the 'One Health' approach to the global health challenges of the future

News - 2023.3.14

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This was made clear at the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO) meeting in Brussels today with the EU's Global Health Strategy and the European Medicines Agency's (EMA) fees regulation as some of the main issues on the agenda.

The Minister for Health recalled the importance of the 'One Health' approach and preparedness for current and, especially, emerging health challenges since the start of the pandemic caused by COVID-19, which require global and interconnected approaches to face the future.

"Health is a determining factor in the development and progress of any society. It is a superior asset that knows no borders and that conditions any strategic decision and that we must protect above all else", stressed Darias, who added that Spain is aligned with the EU's Global Health Strategy, a strategy that generates opportunities at a time of building new structures and global mechanisms to prepare for and respond to health challenges.

Carolina Darias pointed out the strategic advances made by our country in this field with a Strategic Plan for Health and the Environment (PESMA), which has identified up to 14 environmental factors that have a direct impact on health.

She also valued the efforts being made in this regard by EU Member States together with the European Commission, as well as the impetus being given to new surveillance models that incorporate the 'One Health' approach, as in the case of Spain, which already has a new Public Health Surveillance Strategy, has approved the draft law for the creation of a State Public Health Agency and is already working on a specific Royal Decree on surveillance.

The Minister for Health, Carolina Darias, at the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council of the European Union

On this point, the Minister for Health also insisted on the importance of strategies to combat antimicrobial resistance, an issue in which Spain is also a benchmark thanks to the National Antibiotic Resistance Plan (PRAN), which is coordinated by the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products (AEMPS).

Specifically, one of the issues focused on in today's EPSCO has been the regulation of the fees of the European Medicines Agency (EMA), which, as explained by Carolina Darias, will allow proper assessment of the role of regulatory agencies in the proper functioning of health systems, especially during the pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2, as well as its sustainability.

Darias has had words of recognition for the role played by the regulatory agencies throughout this time, and has been particularly grateful for the work of the AEMPS, which she has described as the "flagship" of the National Health System. She also thanked all the health professionals who contributed to Spain's progress against the pandemic up to the present time.

The Minister for Health recalled that the regulation of the so-called EMA fees will be one of the legislative priorities of the Spanish Presidency of the EU during the second half of 2023, continuing the work undertaken by Sweden.

In this regard, Darias stressed the importance of strengthening and protecting European structures, which constitute a unique network of collaborative work for the benefit of patients, in this case by providing a solid financial basis to enable regulatory agencies to cope with the workload and complex procedures they have to deal with as a result of scientific advances.

The Spanish Presidency's legislative objectives will also include the regulation of the European Data Space and the amendment of the Substances of Human Origin (SoHO) regulation, to provide greater security to European citizens in the donation and reception of tissues, blood and cells, including breast milk and microbiota. Among the policy objectives of the Spanish six-month term, Darias highlighted the response to Childhood Obesity, HIV and associated stigma and Mental Health.

The Minister for Health, Carolina Darias, and the director of the AEMPS, María Jesús Lamas, at the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council of the European Union

Along with the Minister for Health, the Deputy Permanent Representative of Spain to the European Union, Raúl Fuentes; the Director of the AEMPS, María Jesús Lamas; and representing the regional governments, the Minister for Health of the Government of the Canary Islands, Blas Trujillo, also took part in today's EPSCO.

Non official translation

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