Last week, the Health Ministers of Portugal and Spain signed a letter of intent that marks the beginning of a joint procurement, funding and price negotiation initiative for medicines and medical devices in the Iberian region. The initiative seeks to enhance cooperation in order to improve patients’ safety, patient’s access to innovative treatments, as well as the economic sustainability of the two countries’ respective healthcare systems (mainly through savings resulting from price reductions).

Experts from both countries will come together and assess Portugal’s and Spain’s respective procurement systems. In addition, the two countries will launch a pilot project encompassing a specific medicinal product to help design a joint procurement process for medicines and medical devices. As a result, the two countries expect to prepare shared quality-related technical documentation.

This joint procurement initiative is part of a broader collaboration agreement between Portugal and Spain concerning environmental, entomological, epidemiological and research monitoring, which purpose is to control infectious diseases that may spread across the two neighbouring countries.

The Portuguese and Spanish governments’ press releases are available on the Ministries’ websites here and here.