Decision time

April 1, 2006
Gurminder Marwaha

Pharmaceutical Technology Europe

Pharmaceutical Technology Europe, Pharmaceutical Technology Europe-04-01-2006, Volume 18, Issue 4

No one is better than Europe when it comes to innovative products at the forefront of the industry

I feel that the European pharmaceutical industry is coming up to an important set of crossroads. Some might say it's even beginning to show signs of stalling before it even reaches them. Why? Because chasing it hard is the pharmaceutical sector of the Far East, and way ahead of it is its US counterpart.

Gurminder Marwaha

The European pharmaceutical sector (and I'm including biopharmaceuticals too) has never faced a bigger decision to make. Does it continue as it is, lamely arguing to anyone who will listen why it's better than its competitors in the hope that it can catch up with the US whilst at the same time evade the Far East? Or, can it reclaim it's rightful place as the leading pharmaceutical region in the world by following a new route?

Whilst much has been made of lucrative prospects in the US and how much cheaper comparable products coming out of Asia are, it's about time the EU stood up for itself and started championing how good we do things over here. OK, so it's unlikely that we're going to be able to compete with bulk raw material manufacturers from the East, but in the grand scheme of things is that really important? No one is better than Europe when it comes to innovative products at the forefront of the industry, and it's about time we stand up and be counted. Whilst it's easy to whine on about price wars and brain drains, we should be doing more to keep our best people and companies in the EU and letting the world know about our capabilities.

Part of the problem stems from harmony, or rather the lack of. Whilst Europe is supposed to act as a single entity with everyone sticking together, the reality is very different. Countries seem to operate to their own agenda and it's going to take someone prominent in the industry to take the initiative and say "Hey, if we want to become the leading pharma industry in the world we need to start working as one and stick to what we're good at" — or something similar to that.

It's an important time for our industry and we certainly don't need any empty vessels, because as the saying goes, they make the most sound.

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