Connecting new science, research and healthcare needs

Start Date 04/10/2012

The workshop jointly organised by IMI and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) at the European Health Forum in Bad Hofgastein, Austria on 4 October was the scene of a lively debate on innovation and the pharmaceutical business model. The workshop was entitled Connecting new science, research and healthcare needs: is the contract between society and pharmaceutical industry up for renewal?

During the workshop, IMI Executive Director Michel Goldman showed how public-private collaboration in IMI projects is leading to scientific results that could not have been achieved by any single research group on its own. The other presentations, and the lively discussion that followed, highlighted the challenges of the traditional business model of the pharmaceutical industry, as well as the pressing need for innovation in the sector. Real innovation in medicines, it was shown, often takes decades and risks being stifled when competition gets too tough.

One of the difficult issues in the discussions about the pharmaceutical business model is how to define and assess the value of a medicine. The industry, patients, and regulatory authorities may value medicines in very different ways, and this matter seems to require further investigation.

About the European Health Forum

Held annually in Austria’s Gastein Valley, the European Health Forum provides a platform for discussion and the exchange of ideas on key issues relating to European health policy. The event attracts around 600 leading experts from national and EU-level organisations working in areas such as health policy, administration, science, business, and patient organisations. The Forum produces a catalogue of recommendations and observations – the Gastein Health Declaration - for those with responsibility in health policy development and implementation. These are communicated to the national and European institutions. The recommendations are supported by the subsequent publication of a full scientific report of the proceedings.