Brussels, 10 Jun 2004
Opening a recent public forum on the European pharmaceutical sector, EU Enterprise and Information Society Commissioner Erkki Liikanen called for continued momentum in the implementation of initiatives to boost the competitiveness of Europe's pharmaceutical sector.
Mr Liikanen quoted a report from the year 2000, which claimed that 'As a whole, Europe is lagging behind in its ability to generate, organise and sustain innovation processes that are increasingly expensive and organisationally complex.'
The same report identified Europe's fragmented approach to research and a lack of competitive markets as the reason for this decline.
But Europe is not about to give up on its pharmaceutical sector. 'Our long-held objective is to create a 'Standort Europa' where Europe, once again, becomes the favoured location for pharmaceutical research and innovation,' said the Commissioner. Speaking on behalf of Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin, who was unable to attend the meeting, Mr Liikanen emphasised that if the EU refrains from investing in innovation now, the long term future of the industry will be undermined.
The EU has pinpointed four key areas for reform: benchmarking, systems for measuring the effectiveness of medicines, pricing, and information to patients. 'The critical issue is to maintain the momentum of implementation,' said Mr Liikanen.