The European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations has launched what it describes as “a landmark paper” outlining the steps it believes are needed for an integrated strategy for the life sciences sector in Europe.

The paper, entitled Health & Growth – Working together for a healthy Europe, calls for “a new generation of partnerships and collaborative solutions to address the EU’s growing health and competitiveness challenges”. It also makes what EFPIA argues is “a strong case for placing the pharmaceutical industry at the heart of European economic reform and growth”.and makes concrete recommendations for having healthier people and workforces, plus creating new jobs.

Noting that Europe is now emerging from the financial crisis, the strategy offers concrete proposals to take advantage of “an opportunity to improve health prospects of citizens, while promoting economic growth”. It also calls for greater political collaboration to agree a comprehensive strategy for life sciences that will improve patient outcomes, support “sustainable and predictable healthcare systems to speed access to medicines” and promote European competitiveness
Chris Viehbacher, Sanofi chief executive and EFPIA president, said “collaboration and a change in perception” are required so we can “better understand the environmental and demographic factors driving healthcare spending, what are the future needs in terms of prevention and disease management, what is the value of investment in different areas and what innovative approaches will have the most effect”. He added that “if we want sustainable systems, we can’t revamp just one area; we need to address the system as a whole”.

Richard Bergström, EFPIA director-general, stated that “we must start thinking outside the box and ensure our industry is connected not just on debates about wellbeing, but also about jobs, growth and economic stability. A new European life sciences strategy will be vital to achieving the objectives of Europe 2020 and beyond”.

The strategy will be officially launched in Lyon later today during EFPIA’s annual meetings, which run alongside the world life sciences forum Biovision. PharmaTimes is in France covering the events.