IPHA Chief Executive Oliver O’Connor chaired the recent EFPIA Heads of Association meeting in Vienna, with vice Chair Anders Blanck from Sweden’s LEEM.
The meeting took place in Vienna to support Austrian pharma associations’ work with Austria’s current EU Presidency and to enable associations from smaller central and eastern European countries to attend.
Among the full agenda was an update on the development of the successful EFPIA #WeWontRest social media campaign and learning from different countries on successful ways to use it at national level, even within tight budget constraints. Associations are very keen to use the concepts and content of #WeWontRest to tell the story of the commitment of hundreds of thousands of people working in our industry to bringing new cures and therapies to people’s lives in Europe and globally.
The meeting also heard updates on the EU Commission’s proposal for a common European Health Technology Assessment as well as developments on Brexit and industry efforts to address any risks to continuity of supply of medicines.
EFPIA’s manifesto for the European elections next year was also discussed. It will be important to have human health and pharmaceutical innovation seen as part of the development of the European economy and society. Public opinion in Europe wants to see the EU contribute more to improved health and the development and adoption of innovative medicines obviously fits with this desire.
Speaking afterwards, Oliver O’Connor said, “it is very useful for EFPIA national associations to share experiences and learning about how to advocate for the adoption of our members’ innovation. We heard particularly good examples from large and small countries of industry-Government partnerships. Constructive and open dialogue with national Governments and payors and with EU-level policy makers in the Commission and Parliament is very valuable. A strong theme of evidence-based policy discussions was emphasised. At the same time, we heard that our public communications as an industry has to fit with how the public gets their information now and what they want to hear about. What we communicate has to have resonance and relevance. That was a strong message.”
EFPIA Heads of Associations meeting take place three times a year. There are thirty-six national associations within EFPIA.