How To Ensure Public Investment Makes An Impact On Society

This week, Commons Network and many others from the Alliance for Affordable Medicines and Responsible R & D released a new call to action that appeals to lawmakers all over Europe and in Brussels.


Drugs for cancer, hepatitis C and rare diseases cost too much. More and more people in Europe cannot afford the medicine that they need. These days, there are reports about high drug prices in the media almost every week. The debate about access to medicines in Europe has been pushed into the political spotlight.

EU policy has been trying to address these problems, but it has not yet succeeded. Public money should mean real access to medicines and affordable drug prices. The safeguards that Europe has built in have so far not been sufficient.

Now, there is a new proposal and budget. For the first time, this programme (Horizon Europe) includes a demand for ‘societal impact’. The signing organisations applaud this first step. Now, we are publishing a set of recommendations to add to Horizon Europe, to maximise public return and societal impact of biomedical research and investment.

We also propose the introduction of a new requirement for public investment: an ‘Access Plan’. Universities and farmaceutical companies (and other applicants for research money) should be required to include an Access Plan in their application, specifying how they intend to make their project results and products available, accessible and affordable.

Applicants should report regularly to the Commission on their progress in executing the Access Plan, and all Access Plans should be made publicly available to Ensure transparency.

Read all our demands in these infographics below. The entire call to action is also available to download below. Reach out to us if you have further questions: and make sure to follow us on Twitter @CommonsNetwork.

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