The European Commission (EC) plans to launch its general review of pharmaceutical legislation in the context of the future European Pharmaceutical Strategy in the coming months. The objective is to ensure a regulatory environment that improves the availability and accessibility of medicines for all citizens, which in turn increases the competitiveness and innovation of the pharmaceutical industry and ensures the maintenance of the health system.
This process of updating pharmaceutical regulations in the European Union (EU) represents a unique opportunity for the region to benefit from R&D cuts, quickly respond to the needs of European patients and once again become world leaders in pharmaceutical innovation.
According to the most recent data from the Federation of the European Pharmaceutical Industry (EFPIA), the Old Continent now represents only 31% of pharmaceutical investment, 25% less than in 2001. In addition, a report prepared by the Charles River Partners consultancy indicates that funding for new drugs in the United States and China may vary.
The fact that these countries have led to a significant increase in the last 20 years has its pharmaceutical industry at the expense of Europe. Thus, the future European Pharmaceutical Strategy was seen by the industry as a golden opportunity to regain lost competitiveness. Or at least in this way, Farmindustria highlighted it, which requires incentives to stabilize the property of the industry and the stability of the regulatory framework that protects the sector.
The future European Pharmaceutical Strategy is an opportunity to change this situation, according to the sector. “It seeks to reconcile access to innovation, the sustainability of health systems and the promotion of innovation,” the experts explain. For this reason, in order to achieve these goals, the association advocates employers to commit companies to collaborate with health authorities in the search for solutions that improve the availability of new drugs to patients, that promote R&D of the next generation of vaccines and pharmaceuticals. and promote economic growth in Europe.
“It could not be more important for patients and for the future of drug development in Europe for the Commission and national governments to work to preserve the sector here and to grow the industry,” said Epfia CEO Nathalie Moll. These owners add that “missing this opportunity harms the progress and recovery of Europe in the field of biomedical research” that there is a real risk of further transfer of R&D to other regions.
In the data it can be seen how between 1990 and 2019 investment in biomedical R&D multiplied in Europe by 4.9, while in the United States it did so by 9.5 points in the same period. Given these figures, Farmaindustria states that there is a “tangible” risk of the European continent receiving a mere market for research that will be carried out in other parts of the world, especially in China and the US.
If this continues, the consequence will be material delays in access to the latest scientific advances, and consequently the improvement of the health and quality of life of patients will be affected, and even less access to new medicines would result. or the possibility of innovative clinical trials.
On the other hand, if a favorable amendment is obtained through the future European Pharmaceutical Strategy, this sector would allow growth in research, innovation and therefore in use. In fact, according to Efpia, another way to maintain the reality of the loss of European competitiveness is through the work environment.
Less work, more research
According again to data collected by the Federation, workers dedicated to the research and development of new drugs in China have increased by 800% since 2001, compared to 30% in Europe. Although, it is true, the report shows how the way of measuring work can differ between different markets. Even the best position of the Asian giant cannot be denied, which overtook Europe in 2012 and has been in the footsteps of the United States of America since 2010.
Now what can be done to improve this situation? To achieve this, according to the directive, competitors must be carefully investigated. “Using best practices across the life sciences ecosystem to emulate the successes of ambitious, world-leading countries like the US and Asia,” he explains.
It is true that, on average, it takes 10 years to develop a new drug, with an estimated cost of more than 2,000 million dollars. The danger is great, and the way is often uncertain, inconvenient, and unsuccessful. But the stability of the current system is what allows the pharmaceutical industry to make new drugs for patients, professionals and the healthcare system, despite the fact that the process is long, complex, dangerous and expensive.
We will keep you posted.