Industry and internal market commissioner-designate Elżbieta Bieńkowska failed to explain why pharmaceutical and medical devices were taken out of the health portfolio when questioned by MEPs today.
Glenis Willmott MEP, Labour MEP for the East Midlands and Labour's European spokesperson on health, said:
“It is disappointing Ms Bieńkowska didn't answer directly whether or not she thinks pharmaceutical and medical devices should really be in the health commissioner's portfolio.
"This sends entirely the wrong signal to patients across Europe. Medicines and medical devices are not just about making money - first and foremost they are about improving and protecting people’s health. Of course Europe’s pharmaceutical and medical technology industries are important to our economy, but our first priority must be patient safety.”
Glenis Willmott MEP added:
“When I was negotiating the transparency laws for clinical trial results, it was DG Enterprise that wanted to water the rules down. Shockingly they will now be overseeing the European Medicines Agency as it implements the transparency regime.”
“Following the breast implant scandal people expect stronger regulation of medical devices, regulation that protects patients. Clearly medical devices should be the responsibility of the Heath Commissioner.”