July 2007: Europe United?




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Video title: July 2007: Europe United?
Released on: July 01, 2007. © PharmaVentures Ltd
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In This Episode:
    The European Union (EU) is rich in diversity and, as such, provides an opportunity for economic trading on an equal basis for all of its member states.
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The European Union (EU) is rich in diversity and, as such, provides an opportunity for economic trading on an equal basis for all of its member states. The EU has made significant advances in ensuring that its basic principles have been achieved. The health of its peoples is, and should be, an integral part of the European ideal. Yet, this is one area where individual government states retain control, which leads to a significant diversity in healthcare systems. The impact of all of this cannot be underestimated, particularly from the point of view of the pharmaceutical industry. However, the EU is not a single market, particularly when it comes to drug pricing and reimbursement, so a pharmaceutical company planning the launch of one of its products in the EU still has to go through a maze of regulation in each country within this single market. This complexity adds hugely to the cost of launching a drug in the EU, which cannot be good for the EU, and should be on the top of its agenda for change.

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Europe is rich in diversity, from the northern reaches of Sweden, to the warm waters of the Mediterranean. With over a half a billion people, and 27 countries, the European Union (EU) is one of the largest trading regions in the world. Incredibly, the EU has over 24 languages, which means that communication across it is not a simple matter. However, the EU provides an opportunity for economic trading on an equal basis for all of its member states – the principle being that all Europeans have equal access to goods and services. Every European, therefore, should be of equal status. Moreover, the companies providing these goods and services should also have an equal ability to trade. The EU has made significant advances in ensuring that its basic principles have been achieved. The health of its peoples is, and should be, an integral part of the European ideal. Yet, this is one area where individual government states retain control, which leads to a significant diversity in healthcare systems. The reasons for this are understandable, as healthcare is part of the promise to their citizens. To make things even more complicated, physician practices throughout the EU can be quite diverse as well. The impact of all of this cannot be underestimated, particularly from the point of view of the pharmaceutical industry. “The EU is not a single market, particularly when it comes to drug pricing and reimbursement. As a result of this, a pharmaceutical company planning the launch of one of its products in the EU still has to go through a maze of regulation … in each country within this single market. This complexity adds hugely to the cost of launching a drug in the EU. … and should be on top of the EU agenda for change” "So when it comes to the drugs produced by the pharmaceutical industry, the EU is not a single market, particularly when it comes to their pricing and reimbursement. As a result of this, a pharmaceutical company planning the launch of one of its products in the EU still has to go through a maze of regulation – and very diverse regulation at that – in each country within this single market. This complexity adds hugely to the cost of launching a drug in the EU. Furthermore, with a tougher pricing regime than is found in the US, the EU is not always considered the first place for launching a new drug. This cannot be good for the EU." Healthcare has to be a priority for the EU, as does the access to quality, and highly innovative, drugs for its people. This should be on the top of the EU agenda for change, as the current system does not favour either the people of Europe, or the ideals upon which the EU was founded. -Fintan Walton, Chief Executive Officer, PharmaVentures Ltd.
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