Resilience and recovery: EFPIA statement in advance of today’s meeting of EU Industry Ministers
Later today (15 May 2020), EU ministers responsible for industry and the internal market will meet via video conference to discuss plans for the EU's economic recovery.
Speaking about today’s meeting EFPIA Director General, Nathalie Moll said. “We are all counting the human cost of the COVID-19 pandemic and our first thoughts are with all those impacted by the crisis. But as well as the personal costs, this virus has clearly demonstrated the devastating economic impact of a global pandemic and that our health is inextricably linked to our economy.”
She went on to say that “Now more than ever it is crucial that all actors work together to forge a pharmaceutical strategy that is in line with the industrial strategy, the trade strategy and the EU’s recovery plan that can drive the block’s economic recovery while building its resilience to this and future health threats.”
The research-based pharmaceutical industry in Europe is committed to playing a key role in the region’s strategic resilience and its road to recovery. First of all, by developing and manufacturing, at pace and scale, affordable treatments and vaccines that will ultimately provide a route out from under the shadow of the coronavirus, as well as by providing tools to build Europe’s resilience against future outbreaks. Resilience begins with science and our health research-ecosystem, through open trade and functioning supply chains and manufacturing to access and availability of medicines and vaccines across Europe.
In addition, the industry continues to invest an estimated € 36,500 million in R&D in Europe every year. It directly employs some 765,000 people in Europe and according to a report released by PwC in June 2019, supports around 2.7 million jobs in the EU. The same report highlights that the activities of pharmaceutical companies contributed over € 100 billion directly to the EU economy, with an additional € 106 billion provided through the supply chain and employee spending. Innovative pharma in Europe is also the largest contributor to Europe’s trade surplus contributing over €91bn (in 2018).
Ensuring the supply of medicines to the patients who need them, remains a top priority for EFPIA and its members during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond. The experience of the crisis has underlined that, from the perspective of the innovative medicines industry, companies have been able to increase supply to meet the needs of patients across Europe. For Europe’s innovative pharmaceutical industry, international dependencies are limited with the EU exporting over 60% of all global medicines and because 76% of the active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) used in the manufacture of innovative medicines in Europe are sourced in the EU with a further 11% coming from the US. Only 9% of APIs needed in the EU’s production originate from Asia (including South-Korea and Japan).
While our scientists and researchers continue to work around the clock to develop new diagnostics, treatments and vaccines for use in the fight against COVID-19, we will continue to work in partnership with the EU institutions and Member States to mitigate the impact of this virus and build Europe’s strategic resilience, agility and economic growth.
 EFPIA Internal Survey (n=17), Feb 2020