With Europe and the United States accounting for more than 80% of global sales of new medicines and 75% of global R&D in life sciences, while creating and sustaining over 1.5 million direct jobs in the research-based pharmaceutical sector, we are nothing, if not a truly transatlantic industry.
Yet the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) could significantly boost the world’s largest trading relationship even further, spurring transatlantic investment in life sciences and fostering greater research cooperation.
The end result would improve healthcare significantly and enhance patient access to innovative medicines on both sides of the Atlantic. TTIP also has the potential to set global standards in key areas, which could serve to improve access and equal treatment.
But will its benefits filter down to individual Member States?
On Wednesday 27th May, the Danish Parliament was the venue for a conference about TTIP and pharmaceuticals, hosted by two key political groups, the Social Democrats and the Liberal Party. The conference witnessed the launch of a report on the impact of an ambitious pharma chapter in TTIP on the Danish economy.
Undertaken by the consulting firm Copenhagen Economics, and commissioned by LEO Pharma, Lundbeck and Novo Nordisk – the three biggest pharmaceutical companies in Denmark – key messages emanating from the report have been a welcome breath of fresh air:
- TTIP represents a significant boost to Denmark and the pharmaceutical industry is an important driver behind these expected benefits.
- TTIP is behind expectations that the pharmaceutical sector will account for a 63% growth in goods exports to the US and a 40% growth in total exports.
- TTIP’s benefits should see the pharmaceutical industry account for up to a fifth of the total impact on Danish GDP.
- TTIP will allow the pharmaceutical industry to create 1500 additional export related jobs in Denmark.
- TTIP will lead to the pharmaceutical industry generating an estimated DKK 290 million in additional taxes every year, once implemented.
So a TTIP agreement including an ambitious pharma-chapter will be nothing short of a blessing, bringing growthand benefits to Denmark in the shape of increased exports, new jobs and tax revenue increases.
At the same time, the industry will not shirk its responsibilities. Underpinning TTIP will be strong provisions supporting patients’ access to innovative medicines, while maintaining the high levels of patient safety – in Denmark, Europe, the US, and beyond.
The Danish Consumer Council also voiced support at the event for including an ambitious pharmaceuticals annex in the TTIP, convinced by the benefits such an annex could bring to patients in both Europe and the US.
The TTIP debate rumbles on in Brussels, with Wednesday seeing the European Commission host a stakeholder meeting about health and this important, potential agreement. With a large number of NGOs, as well as industry participating, discussions included a focus on pharmaceuticals, with a unsurprisingly robust exchange of views.
The next round of TTIP negotiations will take place in Brussels in July, and EFPIA is looking forward to further progress on the accord, spreading the message and engaging in further dialogue on the potential benefits that TTIP can bring.
The brochure TTIP: How a strong pharmaceutical chapter will benefit Denmark is available here.