Thursday, June 21, 2012


In April we sent out a call to action to contact your MEP to ask them to support the Agreement on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance of Industrial Products (ACAA) which would allow for the upgrading of the 1995 EU-Israel Association Agreement which forms the legal basis governing relations between Israel and the EU. This is mainly concerned with trade and scientific and technical cooperation and will substantially open up the European market to Israeli goods, especially pharmaceutical products. Now we are asking you to sign an online petition to ask that the European Parliament be allowed to vote on this legislation. The link to the petition is below and we urge you to please sign the petition and to send this to your friends and colleagues to ask that they do the same. 

For more than two years, opponents of the ACAA deal have delayed any action on it, preventing the issue from reaching a vote in committee and, ultimately, the plenary. Their technical and legal arguments against ACAA have all been countered by the European Council, the European Commission and the legal services of all three EU institutions—including that of the European Parliament itself.

By denying our representatives the opportunity to vote on the matter, ACAA’s critics are harming the democratic process and the interests of the very people they have been elected to serve: Europe’s citizens.

And the enormous benefits of Israeli pharmaceuticals to European healthcare and the well-being of European patients are undeniable. Despite its small size, Israel is at the forefront of major medical innovation, finding new and affordable treatments for a broad range of diseases. To name just two examples: Copaxone, the world’s top selling treatment for multiple sclerosis, was developed at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, while the Israeli-produced generic version of Lipitor, the popular blood pressure medication, will be the first of its kind to hit the UK market, expected at a price 92% below the original.

Yes, Israeli pharmaceuticals can help us save not only lives but also costs. Teva is the world’s largest producer of generic medicines, which are critical to maintaining our high standards of healthcare, particularly during these difficult economic times. According to industry estimates, Europeans save nearly €25 billion annually by using generics, €2 billion in France alone.

The time has come to put European patients before personal politics!