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The pharmaceutical industry: a key asset to medical progress and the European economy

Published today, our latest “The Pharmaceutical Industry in Figures” report reveals that the pharmaceutical industry is the most R&D intensive industrial sector in Europe and in 2020, it invested an estimated €39,000 million in R&D in Europe. It directly employs some 830,000 people across the region and for every person employed in the pharmaceutical industry, three people are employed up and downstream. The industry contributes nearly €122 billion to the EU-28 trade balance, the highest by a considerable margin, of the research-based sectors.

Speaking about the publication, EFPIA President, Hubertus von Baumbach said. “The data shows that Europe has a strong foundation on which to build its position as a global research and innovation centre. But the data also highlights the gradual migration of economic and research activity to other regions of the world. In order to realise the shared ambition of Europe being a world leader in life-science innovation it is critical that Europe uses the Industrial and Pharmaceutical Strategies to maintain and develop a predictable, robust regulatory framework, embrace the power of digitalisation and ensure an innovation-supportive incentives and IP ecosystem.”

COVID-19 has had an impact on many aspects of our lives and has shown the inextricable link between our health and our economic prosperity. In responding to the crisis, the research-based pharmaceutical industry has proven its innovation capabilities and global supply chain resilience. Over the coming months and years, it can and should play a key role in driving Europe’s recovery, building resilience and future growth while ensuring faster, more equitable access for patients across Europe.

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