The Federal Council has presented its catalog of measures for the 2022 – 2026 master plan to strengthen biomedical research and technology in Switzerland. Interpharma is relieved that the Federal Council has recognized the need for action in international location competition. At the same time, however, we are disappointed that Switzerland has not managed to develop a more comprehensive strategy. Rather, there is a patchwork of reports and measures without developing a uniform vision. Interpharma is therefore calling for an overarching strategy to strengthen Switzerland as a location for research and innovation for the benefit of the Swiss population. This must provide an overall view of all initiatives and advances and combine them with a vision and clear ambitions for a sustainable research and innovation location in Switzerland.
In principle, Interpharma welcomes the continuation of the master plan to strengthen biomedical research and technology. The corona pandemic has impressively demonstrated the importance of having a crisis-resistant, research-oriented and manufacturing pharmaceutical industry in the country. But not only Switzerland is aware of this: The international struggle for pharmaceutical research and production has intensified during the crisis and the international competition between locations will intensify further in the future. Countries like Denmark or the United Kingdom have already developed comprehensive strategies to improve their framework conditions and increase their attractiveness for pharmaceutical companies.
The Federal Council decided in 2018 to extend the master plan to strengthen the biotechnology location until 2025. With the topics “clinical research”, “medicinal products for advanced therapies” and “digitalisation”, the master plan covers three important focal points for a competitive place of innovation. However, the opportunity to develop a comprehensive strategy was missed. The master plan presents only loose sub-steps. The measures are not ambitious enough, they are not specific enough and a clear and uniform strategy is not evident.
René Buholzer, Managing Director of Interpharma explains: “Today, Switzerland is one of the most important research and innovation locations worldwide. However, international location competition has intensified in the course of the corona pandemic and Switzerland is in danger of losing touch with leading research and business locations. Interpharma therefore calls for an overarching strategy to strengthen Switzerland as a location for research and innovation for the benefit of the Swiss population.”
Proposed measures are not sufficient
The field of “clinical research” covers many important topics. However, the measures presented are only vaguely formulated and, in view of international developments, are not ambitious enough. The decline in clinical trials in Switzerland in recent years shows that there is an urgent need for action. In order to strengthen Switzerland as a research location, it is imperative that clinical trials for products with a high medical need be approved more quickly.
The measures in the area of ”advanced therapy medicinal products” do not meet the requirements of a master plan. They are aimed at pure cost reduction and in no way strengthen the biotechnological research area. Instead of focusing on costs, the measures should focus on patients and their access to new, innovative therapies and medicines. Interpharma presented a solution for this back in May with the reimbursed innovation access (https://www.interpharma.ch/blog/medienmitteilung-interpharma-schlaegt-einen-rueckvergueteten-innovationszugang-fuer-patientinnen-und-patienten-vor/).
The master plan takes up one of the most important topics with “digitization”. In the future, research will take place where digitization enables the use of new technologies. However, Switzerland is already left behind in international location competition. Despite this enormous urgency, the Federal Council has not yet been able to present a comprehensive strategy for setting up a health data ecosystem, although good approaches can be seen in the report on Postulate 15.4225 “Better use of health data for high-quality and efficient healthcare” and the Federal Council’s directional decision on the EPD. With the roadmap “Digital Health Data Ecosystem (https://www.interpharma.ch/blog/medienmitteilung-sechs-aktionsfelder-als-basis-fuer-eine-kohaerente-digita-lisierungsstrategie-im-gesundheitswesen/)” Interpharma showed what a fact-based and constructive discussion on the topic of digitization of the healthcare system is needed. This includes a uniform legal framework that could be created via an internationally compatible health data law.
Pharma Strategy 2030 offers answers
With the pharmaceutical strategy “Pharma location 2030 (https://www.interpharma.ch/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/interpharma_broschure_A4_d_220322.pdf)”, Interpharma has repeatedly shown the areas in which improvements to the framework conditions are urgently needed so that the Switzerland will remain one of the most important pharmaceutical locations in the world in the future. The Federal Council would have the opportunity this year to present further answers and measures in implementation of postulate Schmid 20.3752 on how Switzerland can be secured and strengthened as a location for pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, research and business.
Samuel Lanz, Head of Communications Interpharma
Mobile +41 79 766 38 86 / [email protected]
Original content from: Interpharma, transmitted by news aktuell
Original message: https://www.presseportal.ch/de/pm/100002276/100891587