European plenaries: pharma reform passed, soil protection law weakened

The plenary sitting of the European Parliament was held in Brussels, on 10-11 April. A number of science-policy related proposals and provisional agreements were voted upon.
Marton Kottmayer,

The two significant science-policy decisions taken by the parliament relate to the pharmaceutical industry and market, and to soil protection. The former is a major reform of the medicine market – however it was also considered controversial by numerous industry actors. Industry argues that the reduced data protection periods for trial results submitted to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in the proposal would reduce competition. In the version accepted by the parliament, the period is still reduced, however, only by 6 months instead of 2 years, which was initially proposed by the commission. Additional incentives to tackle the challenges antimicrobial resistance poses – an issue addressed by EuChemS as well – were also added to the accepted proposal.

With regards to soil protection, while the final proposal passed through the parliament, according to many environmental protection groups, it was made “toothless”, by removing a number of aspects, such as enforceable targets. The proposal was likely weakened due to the pressure by farmers, as well as the proximity of the European Elections. In case of both proposals negotiations with member states, and finalisation is expected to happen after the elections.

At the 10 April vote, in addition to the proposals, numerous provisional agreements were accepted on topics such as the mercury regulation, carbon removal frameworks, urban wastewater treatment and CO2 emissions.

The plenary can be watched here.

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