Fighting for Europe's Future

March 6, 2006

Applied Clinical Trials

Applied Clinical Trials, Applied Clinical Trials-03-06-2006, Volume 0, Issue 0

Jean-Francois Dehecq, sanofi-aventis, France, noted that innovation is founded in strong science and research, is critical for success and competitiveness, and contributes to the health of patients and wealth of society.

Jean-Francoise Dehecq, sanofi-aventis

Jean-Francois Dehecq, sanofi-aventis, France, noted that innovation is founded in strong science and research, is critical for success and competitiveness, and contributes to the health of patients and wealth of society.

Dehecq pointed out that everyone agrees changes need to be made; for Europe has become dependent on the United States for the development of new products--which is quite different from the state of European pharmaceuticals in the early 1990s when Europe led the United States and Japan in R&D expenditure. In order to become a leader again, Dehecq stressed that Europe needs to defend the industry or it will lose it.

So, what is the problem? According to Dehecq, there are two problems: Europe is not working as a single market and it perceives innovation as a cost and not an achievement worthy of reward. To change the current state of pharmaceutical R&D in Europe and secure the future of its pharmaceutical innovation, Dehecq outlined a number of necessary changes, including the need to focus on value and not cost, the need to set up sustainable funding mechanisms (e.g., increased patient participation in health care costs), and the need to support science and strengthen the science base (e.g., funding and improved relationships with academia, regulators, and patients).

Dehecq wrapped up his presentation by concluding that governments have a role to play, one that includes rewarding innovation and regulating less, which he noted is the biggest threat to Europe's future. He also stressed the need for the different cultures in Europe, where "we are fighting for the future of this industry."

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