Access today and medical innovation for tomorrow

EFPIA welcomes the work done by the European Parliament on delivering a report on a Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe, one of the pillars of the European Health Union.

The research-based pharmaceutical industry shares a vision of a healthier future for Europe. A future based on prevention, innovation that addresses unmet medical need, access to new treatments, better outcomes for patients in a more resilient and prosperous Europe.
EFPIA’s Director General Nathalie Moll said “Our goal is to make new treatments available and accessible to all patients in the EU who need them, when they need them. It means building a shared understanding of the root causes of unavailability, barriers and delays to access and developing concrete solutions in partnership with all the relevant stakeholders.” She went on to say, “That is why we welcome the MEPs call for a wider political High Level Pharmaceutical Forum, bringing together policymakers, regulators, payers, patient organisations, industry representatives and other relevant stakeholders in the healthcare supply chain in order to enable access to medicines for patients, reduce delays, and ensure competitiveness and innovation. A call echoed by the EU Health Coalition and a host of other healthcare stakeholders across Europe.”
At the same time, the EU has been eclipsed by the US as a world leader in medical innovation and faces increasingly intense competition for life science investment from China, other parts of Asia, Switzerland and the UK. As the EU reviews its pharmaceutical policy framework, our common challenge for the next decades is not if medical innovation will happen but where? And that matters to European patients, to health systems, to academia and SMEs. It matters for jobs, resilience and economic growth in Member States and across the EU.
With this in mind, EFPIA welcomes the Parliament’s call on the Commission to leverage and coordinate the pharmaceutical, industrial, digital strategies, the renewed EU trade policy and other relevant policies to promote European competitiveness. However, proposals referenced in the report, on both compulsory licensing and the revision of the Supplementary Protection Certificates (SPC) system would have dire consequences for innovation in Europe, negatively impacting on patients, our healthcare systems and our economic growth. If adopted, these proposals would accelerate the loss of research and development, including clinical trials, away from Europe to other regions of the world.

As a result, European patients would have to wait longer for the latest advances in patient care and would no longer have access to cutting-edge therapies through clinical trials. In addition, the migration of innovative research and development to other regions would have serious consequences for employment, investment, our overall research eco-system and economic growth.
Ms Moll went on to say. “Europe’s innovative future is contingent on having an intellectual property rights framework that attracts and protects investments in medical research, and a regulatory framework that is stable, fast, effective and globally competitive. In the coming months, preparing for next year's revision of the pharmaceutical legislation, we look forward to working with Members of the European Parliament and other stakeholders to create a pharmaceutical policy framework in Europe that can benefit patients now and in the future.”