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Commission Staff Working Document: Pharmaceutical industry: A strategic sector for the European Economy

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Åpen konsultasjon igangsatt av Kommisjonen 26.06.2014

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BAKGRUNN (fra Kommisjonens pressemelding 26,06.2014, engelsk utgave)

Pharmaceutical Industry: an asset of the European Economy
The European Commission launched today a comprehensive public exchange of views to strengthen the competitiveness of the EU´s pharmaceuticals industry.

The main challenges for the European pharmaceutical industry are: new and old, believed already to be defeated, health threats; high R&D costs; intellectual property issues; increased international competition; constraints in public budgets. In particular demographic transition is considered a major challenge with the number of EU residents aged 65 and over is expected to increase dramatically, from 92 million in 2013 to 148 million in 2060. Health-related spending generally increases with the age of a person and the prevalence of chronic diseases like diabetes or dementia will rise with an ageing population.

With its annual output of € 220 billion, its approximately 800.000 employees and as the world’s major trader in medicinal products, the EU pharmaceutical industry is of strategic importance for the European economy. Since the world market for medical products is expected to reach nearly $ 1.17 trillion by 2017, this sector is considered a long-term growth market.

The document, which follows the Process on Corporate responsibility in the area of pharmaceuticals concluded in 2013, identifies major policy areas for the future, such setting priorities for new therapies, fostering public-private cooperation, facilitating the availability of specific medicines (like orphan drugs or biosimilars), fostering ethics in the sector, improving access to medicines worldwide and reinforcing the presence of the European pharmaceutical industry in the global market.

The Commission will organise an event in autumn in order to prepare future policy decisions by bringing together relevant decision makers from the relevant public administrations, patients, healthcare professionals, trade unions and industry representatives.