EU long-term competitiveness strategy has to apply to the EU Pharma legislation

EFPIA is calling on the European Commission to fast track last week’s commitment to competitiveness check, [that] will include a methodology for assessing cumulative impact of policies[1] and deliver a full assessment of the impact of the proposed pharma legislation on European competitiveness.

Speaking about the call, EFPIA Director General, Nathalie Moll said. “We very much welcome last week’s Communication on Long-term Competitiveness of the EU[2]. For legislation that will shape our health, science, jobs and growth for the next 20 to 30 years, it is deeply concerning that no complete Competitiveness check has yet been made to assess the real impact the pharmaceutical legislation proposals will have on access to the latest treatments, jobs, R&D investment, academia, manufacturing and growth across Europe.”

She went on to say. “There is an extremely strong case to follow the principles outlined in the Communication from the Commission as we pave the way for the future pharma legislation. The impact assessment on the legislation estimates €662 million in cost saving for public payers, at a cost of €640 million to the innovative industry with the generic industry gaining €88 million. However, there is no assessment on the cost to Europe. New data modelling from Charles Rivers Associates, based on the Factors affecting the location of biopharmaceutical investments and implications for European policy priorities report, show that by 2030, the Commission proposals could halve the number of people in pharma R&D roles in Europe and lose Europe around €15 billion in company R&D investment each year[3].

Ms Moll went on to say. “Considering the industry supports 2.5 million jobs across the bloc, invests €42 billion a year in European R&D and contributes more to the EU trade balance than any other sector, we firmly believe that it is in the best interests of European citizens, Member States and the European economy to ensure that a comprehensive analysis of the impact the proposals will have on European competitiveness is conducted before the legislation is published.”

Member State leaders have been calling for the EU to act decisively to ensure its long-term competitiveness, prosperity and role on the global stage[4]. Yet in recent months, we have seen a series of statements from the CEOs of some of Europe’s leading companies, pointing to the difficulties of innovating in Europe and their intent to focus research and development in the US and Asia. These are not knee-jerk reactions. They reflect growing concern that the Commission’s legislative proposals will severely harm to the competitiveness of Europe’s industry.  

Now is the time to decide what kind of Europe we want to live in – a global hub for the research, development and manufacture of the latest vaccines and treatments or a consumer, reliant on medical innovations from other regions. At the very least we need to fully understand the impact this proposed legislation will have. It is just too important to move ahead blindly without fully understanding the consequences for Europe. We would like to call on the Commission to stand by its commitment to the Long-term competitiveness of the EU and deliver a comprehensive competitiveness check on the pharma revision before such an important piece of legislation is published.


[3] Modelling based on trend data using the CAGR from 2015-2020 vs. CRA estmate of CAGR under proposals
[4] Special meeting of the European Council (9 February 2023) – Conclusions, II Economy, 13, p5