Annual Conference to assess innovation pipeline and supportive policies
Proposals from the European Commission to weaken intellectual property rights will degrade the development and delivery of innovative new medicines for patients in Europe, according to the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA).
IPHA, which represents the biopharmaceutical industry in Ireland, set out its position ahead of its Annual Conference, which takes place in Dublin today (Thursday, 2nd March) and the publication of the new EU Pharmaceutical Strategy later this month.
It is urging the Government and other EU member states to request the Commission to amend its proposals and to back science, jobs and innovation by supporting the protection of the IP rights that underpin R&D investment and the scaled-up manufacturing of innovative new medicines in Ireland and Europe.
Today’s IPHA Conference will hear keynote speeches from Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly, T.D., Tánaiste, Micheál Martin, T.D. and numerous industry experts. It will explore the economic and clinical impacts of innovation, the promise of new technologies in the pipeline and the importance of supportive polices.
IPHA has described the imminent publication of the new EU Pharmaceutical Strategy as a key moment for European competitiveness and Europe’s struggle to regain the ground that it has lost to the US and China for cutting-edge science and investments. IPHA highlighted that:
IPHA understands that the Commission has been motivated to overhaul the EU’s legislative framework for the pharmaceutical industry in a bid to improve affordability and reliable access to new medicines for less well-off member states. It believes that specific measures can be taken to assist these states in their national health systems, rather than changing Europe-wide IP rights.
It said that the biopharmaceutical industry has already brought forward proposals which set out how improving equity of access across the EU can be achieved by well-chosen, targeted initiatives and co-operative industry agreements. Such targeted measures can have an impact in 2024. By contrast, the proposed changes to IP rights would have the immediate effect of degrading the European environment for long term investment and it would be well into the 2030’s before they delivered any potential impact on national health systems.
Michael O’Connell, IPHA President said: “The biopharmaceutical industry is Europe’s largest high-tech industry. It employs 840,000 people and invests €42 billion each year in European R&D. We are calling for Government support to unlock its health, innovation and economic potential so that it can compete on a global scale and reverse a trend of so much investment taking place in the US and China rather than Europe.
“At home, IPHA is intent on working closely with the Government, health authorities and health officials in Ireland to shorten the time that it takes to make new medicines available to patients. We welcome Minister Donnelly’s actions upon the publication of the Mazars Report last week, including the establishment of a Working Group that is open to new ideas, where health authorities, patients’ organisations and industry can work together in new ways to improve the delivery of innovative medicines for patients. IPHA look forward to participating in this Working Group.”
Oliver O’Connor, IPHA Chief Executive said: “We must ensure that EU policies support the innovation and IP rights that are required for the development of new medicines. We need robust IP rights to incentivise investment in the development of innovative new medicines and clinical trials aimed at delivering better outcomes for patients with life-threatening diseases and other serious medical conditions.”
For media interviews and queries contact:
Eimear O’Leary, IPHA Director of Communications and Advocacy
086 397 1653 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Ian McClure, McClure Media & PR
087 28 30 600 | email@example.com