Madrid, October 28th 2014.– Farmaindustria’s general Assembly gathered today in Madrid to hold an extraordinary session in which they appointed Antoni Esteve as the new President of the Association for the next two years. Esteve takes over from Elvira Sanz in this position, in accordance with the rules laid down in Farmaindustria Statutes which establish the rotation between companies of Spanish origin and foreigner Co’s for Presidency; in this occasion, the former. The Assembly was opened by the Spanish Minister of Health, Social Services and Equality, Ana Mato.
During the Assembly, in which the new Executive Committee and Board of Directors of the Association were also constituted, the current situation of the pharmaceutical industry in Spain was analyzed and it was mentioned that such an intensive R&D sector -as is the pharmaceutical sector- that exports and creates great economical value should never grow below the values of the country as a whole.
In this regard, it was also stressed that no further cuts affecting pharmaceuticals would be acceptable, taking into account the current environment in which pharmaceutical expenditure is perfectly controlled and in which, besides, structural elements are already put in place to guarantee its sustainable evolution. For all of these reasons, the Assembly insisted that this situation, alongside savings already achieved, should allow for the entry of therapeutic innovations on the SNS for patients.
Hence, the new President assured that Farmaindustria’s main challenge is now to guarantee the access of quality innovative medicines to patients, and treatments that they need in each moment and in each case. Thus, for Esteve, one of the main questions that the pharmaceutical industry shall face in the coming years is the “search of new financing formulas and policies that guarantee the sustainability of healthcare systems in ways that are compatible with the incorporation of the most avant gardé therapies”.
For the latter to be fulfilled, Farmaindustria requests the establishing of a stable and predictable framework. In this respect, Esteve remarked that the future Royal Decree of Medicines Price and Reimbursement would be a real chance to start to consolidate said framework by guaranteeing an appropriate recognition and treatment of innovation as far as price and reimbursement policies are concerned, making compatible the sustainability of the SNS with the equitable access of the best treatments and innovations for patients in Spain.
Where relations with Public Administrations are concerned, the new President foresees it as fundamental to continue with the same approach Farmaindustria has held, consolidating the relationship with the Minister of Health and fostering new alliances with other Ministries such as Finance, Economy and Industry.
But beyond the Central Government, the relationships with Spanish autonomous Regions remain a priority for the Association. In particular, Antoni Esteve expressed his concerns for the differences and inequities currently experienced in the access of new medicines in certain regions “which reinterpret in their own way, those conditions of access to medicines that have already been approved by the Central Government”. Therefore, and reiterating with maximum respect for regional competences in healthcare, he requested they respect of boundaries laid down by Law.
On the other hand, amongst other future priorities, he also referred to the importance of defending competition in equal terms between branded and generic medicines, intending to end the current discrimination set by the current legislation, even when prices are the same.
Elvira Sanz’s farewell
Finally, the new President of Farmaindustria praised the work of his predecessor, Elvira Sanz, during her two years leading the Association. “They have been two extremely rough and complicated years, which have been -in turn- overcome with success and excellence”, he concluded.
Ms. Sanz briefly revised her presidency, marked by the Protocol signed with the Ministry of Health, highlighting that it has brought about a more fluid dialogue between both parties. Thus, she remarked the importance of maintaining this good climate of understanding with the Administrations in the future, based in a constructive and responsible attitude, and in solid and grounded proposals.
Additionally, she stressed one of the key messages of her term: innovations should be considered from the view of investments as opposed to expenditure or costs, since they are an unavoidable asset for our society.
Stressing the words of the new President, Sanz insisted on the importance of the new Royal Decree of Medicines Price and Reimbursement, which “will be crucial for the pharmaceutical industry and, most of all, for patients, since it will be developed according to what is established in the Law of Guarantees as far as pricing and reimbursement are concerned”.
“Summing up, we still have plenty of challenges ahead of us, some new ones and some unfinished ones, but Farmaindustria will face them just as it always has done up to now, in a cohesive and united manner and with extra doses of internal strength”, she assured.