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The Why Behind EFPIA’s Life Sciences Strategy for Europe: “Health & Growth – Working together for a healthy Europe”

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On the launch of EFPIA’s landmark paper outlining steps towards an integrated strategy for the life sciences in Europe, Director General Richard Bergstrom shares his foreword to the document, explaining the motivation behind it and the promise a strong life sciences sector holds for a healthier, more stable Europe. The full document “Health & Growth – Working together for a healthy Europe” is available on the efpia website. 

European healthcare systems are at a tipping point, driven by the increasing burden of providing world-class care for populations that are living longer – often with one or more chronic diseases – at
a time when austerity measures are putting pressure on healthcare spending generally, and medicines expenditure in particular.

As Europe begins to emerge from the financial crisis and sets out its plans for a return to growth, the time is right to fundamentally review how Europe addresses the inter-connected challenges of improving the health prospects and productivity of its citizens, within an affordable financial framework, while ensuring that the pharmaceutical and life sciences industries – jewels in Europe’s economy – continue to thrive. These challenges cannot be separated and addressed in isolation.

Europe cannot take the future competitiveness of its pharmaceutical industry for granted. Competition is now truly global. While the sector continues to grow in value terms, Europe’s share
is declining across many important indicators, such as share of global pharmaceutical R&D expenditure, new NCEs discovered and employment. Being world class, rather than second best, matters.

Now is the time to look ahead. To return to prosperity and preserve its identity, Europe must emerge from the crisis as a highly competitive economy, grounded in a skilled workforce, a healthy population, and a sustainable social model. Any challenges that stand in the way can surely be overcome.

To ensure that the industry contributes to Europe’s future success, we must all endeavour to break down barriers and silos, and work together across Finance, Health and Social Care, Science and Industry to deliver improved health outcomes, within a sustainable financial framework and thriving healthcare and industrial ecosystem.

The biopharmaceutical industry is eager to strengthen its partnership with European institutions and governments to make innovation-led growth happen. We believe that now is the right time to open a new dialogue with Government and Society on how best to do that, so that we may collectively move in the right direction.

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EFPIA Director General

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