European health systems face unprecedented challenges, especially from the spiralling demand for complex and costly long-term health and social care for age-related chronic diseases, but also from health threats from antimicrobial resistance and climate change.

Nevertheless, despite these challenges, EFPIA sees many reasons to be optimistic about a healthier future for Europe. Now is the time to use the lessons learned from COVID-19 pandemic, and the renewed political and public prioritisation of health, to ambitiously POWER up our future health systems.

This starts with investment: governments must no longer regard health spending as a cost or burden, or a target for short-term cost-containment. Rather, it represents a societal investment both in the wellbeing of citizens and in our economic future.

This investment should focus on five POWER up priorities: People-centricity, Outcomes, Workforce empowerment, Efficiency and Resilience. POWERing up also means embracing the transformational tools we need – namely digitalisation and innovation that generates value for patients, health systems and society as a whole.

In this paper we explain our positions on each of these POWER up priorities and highlight the contributions of the research-based pharmaceutical industry as a vital and committed partner within European Union health systems.