EFPIA Calls for New Dialogue on Medicines

ePT--the Electronic Newsletter of Pharmaceutical Technology

A new dialogue between governments and the pharma industry is being called for by Andrew Witty, CEO of GlaxoSmithKline and President of EFPIA, to address access to and affordability of European medicines, as well as Europe's competitiveness as a base for R&D investment.

A new dialogue between governments and the pharmaceutical industry is being called for by Andrew Witty, CEO of GlaxoSmithKline and president of EFPIA, to address access to and affordability of European medicines, as well as Europe’s competitiveness as a base for investment in research and development.

“Many countries in Europe are facing significant pressures in healthcare policy, which have been compounded by the financial crisis,” said Witty in a press statement. “We need a new dialogue between industry and governments to address the difficult questions facing us all on access, on affordability and on innovation.”

Speaking at the 2010 EFPIA General Meeting held in London, Witty said that the industry must be a “genuine partner” to governments and their agencies, which involves delivering medicines and vaccines that “address unmet needs” and offer “demonstrable added value.” However, he also added that a shared understanding of value between industry and governments is critical. As such, he believes there should be a better dialogue prior to and following marketing authorisation.

“Let’s start looking at medicines expenditure as an investment,” said Witty. “This will enable governments and industry to set a strategic agenda for health and pharmaceutical innovation. What matters is whether a medicine works, responds to patient needs and, if so, that it is rewarded.”

EFPIA Director General Brian Ager also stressed the need for closer cooperation. “I want EFPIA to play a part in addressing the challenges faced by governments in balancing tight budgets against the need to ensure sustainable patient access to high healthcare and treatments. A key priority is to ensure that cost controls do not impact quality of care or act as a disincentive to innovation.”