World IP Day – providing hope for a healthier future
Innovation is in our industry’s DNA. It’s the vehicle by which we improve patients’ lives, evolve the way we manage healthcare and benefit wider society. But our innovation gene is just the start, expressing it requires time, great people, significant resources, collaboration across sectors and borders and often-endless experimentation to search out new breakthroughs.
The prize – discovering and developing treatments that mean alleviating suffering, extending life and improving its quality is something EFPIA members are dedicated to realising.
And with over 7,000 new medicines in development, there is immense scope to make a difference to patients across Europe at a time when our healthcare systems face very real challenges, driven by an ageing population and increased prevalence of chronic diseases.
If we look at the history of medicine, it’s innovation that has provided the answers to challenge after challenge, from the development of the very first antibiotics to today’s antiretrovirals tackling HIV, gene therapies providing hope for patients facing genetic diseases and combination therapies fighting previously untreatable cancers.
If we want innovation to continue to provide answers to tomorrow’s healthcare challenges then intellectual property rights (IPRs), designed to encourage and protect innovation, to drive R&D in areas of unmet medical need, must be at the heart of our R&D eco-systems.
Put another way, without IPRs, innovation stops. And in healthcare, that means innovation that could improve, even cure many diseases and change the lives of patients and their families. Today is world IP day, a day where we come together with many research-based sectors to underline the importance of IP. It’s particularly relevant for our sector this year as the European Commission begins a study of IP-based incentives in the pharmaceutical sector. We look to the Commission to recognise the value of medical innovation, and IPRs’ instrumental role in driving it, so that patients, healthcare systems and wider society in Europe can continue to benefit from new treatments and cures.