Madrid, December 3rd 2014.-Innovation and commitment to society and citizens’ health are two of the pharmaceutical industry’s strategic lines, as was confirmed today by Humberto Arnés, director general of FARMAINDUSTRIA during the opening session of the 2nd We are Patients forum, organized by “Somos Pacientes”. This We are Patients is an online community, fostered by the Association which brought together more than 1400 entities and organizations today.
During his intervention, which focused on patient access to innovations, not just relative to therapeutics but also technology and information, Arnés stressed that innovation is “in the DNA” of the pharmaceutical sector. “The companies’ activities are centred mainly on the development of new molecules which are ultimately used to eradicate several diseases or, at least, improve the quality of life of those who are suffering them”.
Arnés reminded us that the pharmaceutical industry is the sole collective body capable of organizing economical, technical and human resources on a large scale in order to research one single medicine; this requires an investment of more than 1,000 million euro, over a timeframe of ten years with the participation of an enormous multi-disciplinary team”.
Faced with the current situation whereby public administrations have limited resources and the imminent arrival of new breakthrough medicines, farmaindustria’s director general explained that “the solution lies in the agreement of the different stakeholders, so that with each contribution, we will be able to search for imaginative formulas which will make it possible for our healthcare system to incorporate the most avant-garde therapies, guaranteeing patient access to the same conditions of equity, equality and quality, plus adequately rewarding innovation so that the pharmaceutical R&D cycle, hence progress, is not detained”.
Likewise, he highlighted the role of patients in this process. “The new concept of informed patients, aware of their disease and of the treatments available -and of those treatments that are in the pipeline- will have an outstanding position in the design and implementation of new clinical trials, in the ethics committee debates, or in the elaboration of therapeutic position reports, which will be key for the authorization and reimbursement of medicines on the public administration’s side”.
In this regard, Humberto Arnés was fully convinced that healthcare and all of its agents should continue to focus in search of benefits for patients, but at the same time, counting on their opinion and participation in the processes of clinical and social care at all times. “Patients and their relatives should be found at the centre of the system, and every activity should be oriented, taking into account their interests and needs”, he stated.
Finally he remarked about the importance information holds in this new role -which patients will surely take on- and how new technology and communication tools are empowering them, allowing them to become a much more active participant in the system, “formulating a perfectly armed speech and raising their voices so that their interests, concerns and need are heard loud and clear by members of the Government, Autonomous Regions, healthcare professionals, pharmaceutical companies and other private and public stakeholders”.
This 2nd We are Patients Forum brought together more than a hundred attendees, including researchers, members of patients’ associations, healthcare professionals, public administration spokespersons and representatives of the pharmaceutical industry.