Resilience and recovery: EFPIA response to the publication of the EU recovery plan
Commenting on today’s announcement EFPIA Director General, Nathalie Moll said. “We are all counting the human cost of the COVID-19 pandemic and our first thoughts are with all those who have suffered. As well as the personal costs, this virus has clearly demonstrated the devastating economic impact of a global pandemic and that our health is inextricably linked to our economy. We very much welcome the Commission’s commitment to resilience and recovery, in particular the inclusion of the new Health Programme, EU4Health and the funding for Horizon Europe, which will be reinforced to fund vital research in health, resilience and the green and digital transitions.”
The research-based pharmaceutical industry in Europe is committed to playing a key role in the region’s strategic resilience and its road to recovery. First of all, by developing and manufacturing, at pace and scale, affordable treatments and vaccines that will ultimately provide a route out from under the shadow of the coronavirus, as well as by providing tools to build Europe’s resilience against future outbreaks. Resilience begins with science and our health research-ecosystem, through open trade and functioning supply chains and manufacturing to access and availability of medicines and vaccines across Europe.
Ms Moll went on to say that “Now more than ever it is crucial that all actors work together to forge an EU pharmaceutical strategy that, in line with the Next Generation EU recovery instrument and the EU’s industrial strategy, can drive the block’s economic recovery while building its resilience to this and future health threats.”
The research-based industry continues to play a key role in the open, strategic autonomy of Europe, investing an estimated € 36,500 million in in Europe’s research eco-system. It directly employs some 765,000 people in Europe and according to a report released by PwC in June 2019, supports around 2.7 million jobs in the EU. The same report highlights that the activities of pharmaceutical companies contributed over € 100 billion directly to the EU economy, with an additional € 106 billion provided through the supply chain and employee spending. Innovative pharma in Europe is also the largest contributor to Europe’s trade surplus contributing over €91bn (in 2018).
We acknowledge the EU’s focus on “enhance(ing) its strategic autonomy in a number of specific areas, including in strategic value chains”. Ensuring the supply of medicines to the patients who need them, remains a top priority for EFPIA and its members during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond. The experience of the crisis has underlined that, from the perspective of the innovative medicines industry, companies have been able to increase supply to meet the needs of patients across Europe. Europe’s innovative pharmaceutical industry already has a strong in-built resilience with 76% of the active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) used in the manufacture of innovative medicines in Europe now being sourced in the EU with a further 11% coming from the US..
While our scientists and researchers continue to work around the clock to develop new diagnostics, treatments and vaccines for use in the fight against COVID-19, we will continue to work in partnership with the EU institutions, Member States and all health stakeholders to mitigate the impact of this virus and build Europe’s strategic resilience, agility and economic growth.