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Quality and access to drugs, focus on EU candidate countries

(ANSA) - TRIESTE, 18 APR - Goal one: ensure safe, effective, high-quality pharmaceutical and health products through a more robust assurance system and regulatory oversight. Goal two: anticipate and address shortages of essential drugs. Goal three: manage challenges related to access to new treatments and protect populations from financial hardship. These are the main goals that WHO Europe, the Executive Secretariat of the Central European Initiative and the European Observatory on Health Policies and Systems aim to meet, bringing together in Trieste experts from 10 EU and EU candidate countries - Italy, Slovenia, Poland, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Ukraine and Moldova - to build a resilient pharmaceutical and health commodity system in the Western Balkans and other pre-accession countries. The two-day event kicked off this morning and will focus on strengthening pharmaceutical and health product systems. "One of the WHO's priorities is Universal health coverage, which has several issues to be addressed in the target countries: health services, workforce, and resources." These are elements that strengthen the capacity to meet citizens' needs and improve the accessibility of services," explained Gian Matteo Apuzzo, focal point of the WHO Europe Western Balkans roadmap's policy and health systems division. "In this sense, WHO works directly in countries based on needs and involves several countries to build a common approach to solve problems on which they cannot be left alone. And this is an activity we also do in collaboration with geographic area organizations such as CEI." (ANSA).