The creation of proprietary know-how and business information are woven into the fabric of the pharmaceutical industry. Almost every aspect of the drug development process involves the generation and application of substantial amounts of technical information and know-how, including the preclinical chemistry, manufacturing and control process as well as clinical trials phase. 

This information, whose origination involves considerable efforts and investments, can be of substantial economic value for our member companies. It is therefore important to allow such information to be protected from misappropriationHowever, the fragmented legal protection within the EU puts this goal at risk with negative consequences for knowledge-based companies in general and particularly for SME's.  

EFPIA therefore welcomes the approach taken by the Commission's Proposal for a Directive on the Protection of undisclosed know-how and business information against their unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure. EFPIA believes an harmonised approach to the protection of trade secrets in the Union, with sufficient and comparable levels of redress, will act as a strong disincentive for misappropriation attempts and have a positive impact on investments and cross-border research collaborations in R&D and therefore on innovation and competitiveness of businesses in general. 

EFPIA thanks the Commission for its efforts and encourages EU decisions-makers to recognise the importance of protecting the legitimate rights associated with companies' trade secrets, which rights we believe are necessary to encourage and safeguard the EU's future as a knowledge-based economy.