Europe's drugmakers are taking to social media to "inform healthcare debates" in the run-up to the forthcoming European Parliament elections.

The European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) has launched the #HealthyEU Health and Growth campaign which calls for "an integrated life sciences  strategy" for the continent. It will outline "the opportunities and threats faced by patients and the healthcare sector today and provide evidence and facts" about the sector.

The campaign will highlight, "and seek solutions, to current failings in three interdependent pillars of health and growth", namely inequalities in life expectancy and overall health, improving access and predictability of funding and stop Europe from losing its competitiveness in the fight for R&D investments. It will include "a series of online blogs and ongoing social media engagement…setting out clear priorities for policymakers, industry and others working in the healthcare sector".

Launching the campaign at The Economist Pharma Summit in London, EFPIA director general Richard Bergstrom said such a strategy "will not only deliver better health outcomes for European citizens, but also support financially sustainable healthcare systems and achieve economic growth in Europe".

EFPIA president Christopher Viehbacher, Sanofi's chief executive, said "we need to improve outcomes by increasing prevention and chronic disease management and address the deepening disparities across Europe in access to healthcare and innovative solutions". He added that  "we must connect the science to the health needs by strategically consolidating the research agenda between public and private actors and among the different member states".