2013 EFPIA Annual General Meeting : Optimism and its utility in the face of the Euro crisis was one of the topics addressed at EFPIA's public conference, Health and Growth – The Way Out for Europe.
On 24 June 2013, Christopher A. Viehbacher, Chief Executive Officer of Sanofi, was elected President of EFPIA, the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations, for a 2-year term. He calls for strengthened collaboration to deliver health and growth. Stepping into his role as the new President of EFPIA, Mr. Viehbacher called on the European Union, member states and industry to work together in facing Europe’s economic and social challenges. He emphasised the pharmaceutical industry’s potential to help revive Europe’s economy while improving the quality of life for its people, and outlined EFPIA’s priorities for the industry.
“I am extremely honoured by this election that comes at a time when Europe needs a different approach to healthcare,” declared Christopher A. Viehbacher, President of EFPIA. “As an industry, we will continue to put patients first by delivering innovative, life-changing medicines that address unmet medical needs. But given the chronic deficits of healthcare systems, we must work differently, build collaborative policies and combine our strengths at both national and European levels. As we want Healthcare to be a growth engine for Europe, our industry must focus on three priorities: patient access, science & innovation and competitiveness.” “I look forward to working with my EPFIA colleagues and with others across the health system to advance policies that recognize the strategic importance of our industry in terms of better health for patients and economic growth,” Mr. Viehbacher concluded.
"I'm in a slightly optimistic mood this morning," Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman noted when discussing the current state of Europe and his four possible "How does it end?" scenarios to the Euro crisis: Germany as locomotive, muddling through (in Krugman’s words, "the official policy of Europe"), radicalization, or the slightly less optimistic doom loop. As the discussion between Krugman and FT Brussels Bureau Chief Peter Spiegel progressed, the question of optimism came up again. Taking the floor once the panel opened to questions, Jane Griffiths, Company Group Chairman of Johnson & Johnson, questioned this optimism – what value might it have? Krugman maintained its value: "Optimism won't make the structural problems go away... But I believe right now it would be helpful."
The Annual Meetings pushed many of those present from the pharmaceutical industry to think beyond the boundaries of the industry and healthcare – to consider the bigger picture, of how the pharmaceutical industry might be able to factor into European growth, not just European health.
Following the discussion between Paul Krugman and Peter Spiegel, the discussion continued with an expert panel including Joaquim Oliveira Martins, Senior Economist OECD, Professor Fabio Pammolli, IMT Lucca Institute of Advanced Studies and CeRM Foundation; Fredrik Erixon of the European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE); Nicole Bedlington of the European Patients Forum; and Professor Meir Pugatch of Haifa University and the Pugatch Consilium