Santander, September 3rd 2015.- Antoni Esteve, President of Farmaindustria, assured today, during his speech at the XV Pharmaceutical Industry Meeting held at the Menéndez Pelayo University (UIMP) in Santander that “it is necessary to redirect the current debate around high prices of pharmaceutical innovations and their budgetary impact towards a more positive assessment on the benefits biomedical research brings to society through multiple ways, for healthcare, society and economy”. UIMP’s Dean, César Nombela; and the Applied Economy Professor at Carlos III University, Felix Lobo, Director of this Meeting who also took part in the opening session.
This edition of the Meeting, which is organized annually by the UIMP in collaboration with Madrid’s Carlos III University sponsored by Farmaindustria, has focused in one of the main debates in the current healthcare environment: financing innovations.
In this regard, the President of Farmaindustria affirmed that the horizon built by pharmaceutical innovation is a promising one and that, more than evolution, we are talking about a revolution: “we are living in a new era of medicines which will constitute real landmarks in the treatment of diseases that most affect us”, he stated.
For Esteve, “new medicines, increasingly specific and effective, entail investments in research which are only comparable to the therapeutic revolution they bring about”. Therefore, he pointed out that the pharmaceutical industry and Public Administrations should be capable of putting forward new financing formulae, as creative as they will, thus allowing citizens’ demands on healthcare be in line with the degree of economic and social development in Spain, become a reality.
The President of Farmaindustria considers that it is due to these new medicines that some of the diseases which more affect us as a society will be eradicated or made chronic, taking into account that, today, many of them still have high mortality rates. Therefore, the solution lies in “the understanding of different parties involved and not accepting that sustainability, access and innovations can be considered as incompatible”:
Medicines as investments, not expenditure
Farmaindustria’s standpoint during recent years is that the system has suffered a series of adjustments which have excessively –and wrongly- affected innovations, provoking strong delays in the approval of new products, while insisting in cost containment formulae based on hurdles to access new medicines, especially in some Spanish regions. This way, Esteve thinks the moment has arrived to overcome the difficulties and reconcile everyone’s interests and, for this, it is necessary to lay out new policies in the fields of medicines and healthcare. “Global investments in healthcare should be fostered, because our country cannot afford to reduce its efforts in this field if they wish to maintain Spanish healthcare system leading the world”, he remarked.
All of this starts by considering medicines as an investment and not as a expenditure”, establishing adequate mechanisms for its adoption and financing as, for example, the economic assessment of its contributions in health results. “Only this way- the President of Farmaindustria guaranteed- we can foster the appropriate access to innovations and the co-responsibility of different stakeholders; while removing inefficiencies affecting pharmaceutical expenditure, as well as inappropriate incentives”.
According to Antoni Esteve, the industrial pharmaceutical sector possesses all the attributes for the productive and economic model that Spain needs. In his opinion, we should be capable of investing in a sustainable and growing manner in R&D, especially in high technology and future oriented sectors such as the biomedical sector. “We have a National Healthcare System which has great potential to create strong synergies with our sector in order to generate health, wealth and welfare, and this is something we should not waste”, he concluded.