EFPIA statement on the EU Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027

EFPIA notes the publication of the proposed EU Multi-year Financial Framework (MFF) for 2021-2027.  We recognise the significant number of priorities the Commission is seeking to address through the MFF and want to underline the importance of health and health research for the well being of our citizens and as a driver for economic growth and development.

As an industry we welcome the increase in the research budget to €100 billion although more had been called for by the report of the High Level Group on maximising impact of EU Research and Innovation Programmes. EFPIA has high aspirations for Europe as leader in medical innovation and it is important to recognise that the commitment in yesterday’s budget remains a fraction of the spending on research in other regions.

It is critical that an appropriate proportion of the research budget is dedicated to health research and development. The track record of Horizon 2020, including its Innovative Medicines Initiative Public Private Partnership, has added enormous value to EU health research, accelerating medical innovation and facilitating translation of science into new health solutions.

We have serious concerns that the spending designated to health is unlikely to realise the policy ambitions or meet the expectations of EU citizens.  

We welcome the new "Digital Europe Programme" and hope that it will be used, together with other relevant programmes, to implement the Commission's newly adopted agenda for digital health transformation. 

According to the budget proposal, the health component of the new "European Social Fund+" is small, compared to the ambitious objectives to improve the accessibility, resilience and effectiveness of healthcare systems and public health policies. We call on the Commission to ensure that adequate synergies can be reached with other programmes such as the European Regional Development Fund and Cohesion Fund and the InvestEU Fund to support Member States with capacity building and reform facilitating the transition to more outcomes-based, patient-centred and data-driven healthcare systems. In this regard, EFPIA also welcomes the area on healthcare systems in the new Horizon Europe programme which could contribute to better evidence on how healthcare systems can evolve to improve health outcomes for patients while reducing waste and ensuring long-term sustainable financing.

EFPIA calls on the EU institutions and Member States to invest in a healthier future for Europe, increasing spending on research and ensuring its healthcare programmes are resourced to deliver what patients and citizens in Europe need.