The innovative pharmaceutical industry is a key strategic sector for the European economy, driving medical progress by researching and developing new medicines and treatments. Europe is the second largest pharmaceutical market in the world and accounts for 16.8% of world pharmaceutical sales. The EU pharmaceutical sector is considered to be the high-tech sector contributing the most to the EU trade balance with a trade surplus of €135 billion.

The pharmaceutical sector sustains around 840,000 jobs throughout Europe and around three times higher when counting indirect jobs. Increased access to international markets can protect these jobs and create new employment opportunities throughout the pharmaceutical value-chain, including jobs for scientists, regulatory experts and packaging officers, among others.

The European pharmaceutical sector is a global industry with operations in many countries around the world. Key strategic and top export markets of importance include both developing and developed markets such as the US, Switzerland, Japan, China, Russia Canada and Turkey.

EFPIA supports en open trading system that creates new opportunities for trade and investment and promotes global competitiveness and innovation in a level-playing field. The EU’s Trade Strategy is an important tool to achieve these objectives, both at multilateral and bilateral level. EFPIA contributes to shape this agenda in order to ensure that the European pharmaceutical industry has greater access to global markets through predictable and non-discriminatory trade and investment conditions.

A progressive and ambitious trade policy agenda also means a secure and predictable business environment for companies operating globally. The pharmaceutical industry continues to be impacted by a number of protectionist measures and market access hurdles such as weak IP protection and burdensome regulatory procedures in key markets all over the world. EFPIA maintains an active dialogue with the EU Commission and other stakeholders in order to improve market access in third countries through trade agreements as well as regulatory and intellectual property dialogues with key trading partners. Removing trade barriers and red tape in third countries and fair market access to international markets enables the pharmaceutical industry to operate in a transparent and predictable environment, and enables patients across the world to have better and faster access to novel treatments and innovative medicines.

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