Ireland’s pharmaceutical industry launches innovation-focused EU election manifesto

Ireland's pharmaceutical industry launches innovation-focused EU election manifesto

By Brian Maguire | Euractiv Est. 5min 15-04-2024 (updated: 15-04-2024 ) Content-Type: Underwritten Underwritten Produced with financial support from an organization or individual, yet not approved by the underwriter before or after publication. (L to R): Barry Cowen (Fianna Fail), Pauline O’Reilly (Greens), Oliver O’Connor, Chief Executive IPHA, Ciaran Mullooly (Independent). [IPHA] Euractiv is part of the Trust Project >>> Print Email Facebook Twitter LinkedIn WhatsApp Telegram Ireland’s pharmaceutical innovators have unveiled their European election manifesto in the Irish Midlands-Northwest constituency. With candidates present, the IPHA said they stand ready to work with European health leaders to enable faster and fairer access to life-enhancing medicines. The Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA) launched its manifesto for the European Midlands-Northwest constituency at a public event hosted at Jazz Pharmaceuticals in Athlone. Four key elements form the manifesto core: better health for all Europeans; creating jobs that matter; supporting innovation; and encouraging sustainability. The launch took place following the European Parliament’s 10 April plenary vote which saw MEPs adopt the largest reform of pharmaceutical legislation in over two decades. Following the vote, the IPHA said that despite some improvements being made to the original European Commission proposals, parliamentarians voted to reduce manufacturers’ regulatory data protection by six months – something which the IPHA and the wider industry had expressed concern about. The IPHA said it will now ask for this to be rectified post-election, in discussions with EU governments in 2024 and 2025. Rapporteur for the directive Pernille Weiss (EPP, DK) said the vote represents “a step towards delivering the tools to tackle present and future healthcare challenges, particularly for our market attractiveness and access to medicine across EU countries.” She added that the European Parliament hopes Council will now take note of the EP’s ambition on this file and engage in “effective negotiations”. The new Parliament will follow up on the file after the 6 – 9 June European elections. Support innovation and IP rights Friday’s launch of the IPHA’s Midlands Northwest manifesto outlines how Ireland’s MEPs can play a role in ensuring that EU policies post-election, support the innovation and IP rights they say are required for the development of new medicines, by offering predictability and stability, reducing bureaucracy and showing the European Union is open for investments. Oliver O’Connor, Chief Executive of IPHA, said: “MEPs will have a crucial role to play in advancing the key asks of the pharmaceutical industry in the next mandate of the European Parliament – particularly through the ENVI (Environment, Public Health and Food Safety) and ITRE (Industry, Research and Energy) parliamentary committees. Our industry stands ready to play its part and work further with policymakers to ensure a competitive pharmaceutical sector which serves all our patients in Ireland and across Europe.” O’Connor explained that while each country in the EU organises its own health service, the EU has a key role in authorising and setting quality controls for medicines and creating the conditions for research, development and jobs in the sector. He added that every region in Ireland benefits from these jobs and investments; nearly every new medicine in our health service is approved by the European Medicines Agency; and every time a medicine is dispensed, it is checked under EU systems. ‘Better Health for All Europeans’ With this in mind, the IPHA manifesto calls for policies that prioritise access to new medicines, including vaccines, so that patient outcomes can be improved. Their recommendations include greater enhancement of the European Medicines Agency; ensuring a predictable and streamlined EU framework for joint clinical assessment processes; and supporting an EU Immunisation Strategy that strengthens protection against vaccine-preventable diseases across all generations. “Creating Jobs that Matter” When it comes to job creation, the manifesto says given that 45,000 and 875,000 individuals are directly employed in the sector across both Ireland and Europe respectively, the industry wants to create more of these high-value and highly skilled jobs across the region. “Supporting Innovation” The IPHA says that achieving this requires strong support for innovation – a key factor in attracting new investments – which, they argue, should be further supported by the strengthening of EU intellectual property rights for medicines innovation; and through greater pan-European and cross-border cooperation for the exchange of evidence-based information. “Encouraging Sustainability” The fourth manifesto pillars – encouraging sustainability – acknowledge that climate change is a critical challenge. The IPHA is therefore calling for continued financial and advisory support to further encourage sustainability initiatives across Ireland and Europe; as well as ensuring that Environmental Risk Assessments are implemented at the production level, rather than marketing authorisation per product, to avoid creating barriers to access for new treatments for patients. Oliver O’Connor explained that the manifesto was important because: “The pharmaceutical industry has invested heavily in Ireland in recent years, but Europe as a whole has lost a quarter of its global pharmaceutical investment in the last 20 years. This has had a knock-on effect for R&D, innovation and, crucially, patient access to innovative medicines.” [By Brian Maguire | Euractiv’s Advocacy Lab ] Read more with Euractiv Shaping the future of Europe’s healthcare in a new political cycleAgainst the backdrop of the upcoming European elections, could the EU do more to positively affect healthcare outcomes across the EU 27 in the next legislative cycle? Astra Zeneca’s Stefan Woxström believes now is the time to seize the momentum. Print Email Facebook Twitter LinkedIn WhatsApp Telegram Topics 2024 EU elections Health healthcare IPHA Ireland Pharmaceutical Market promoted