Brussels, 24 September 2010
An innovative pharmaceutical industry which meets the needs of society
On the occasion of the Belgian Presidency’s ministerial conference on innovation and solidarity in the field of pharmaceuticals held today, Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani announced the launch of a process on corporate responsibility in the pharmaceutical industry. A distinction is made between three platforms – (1) ethics and transparency (2) access to medicines in Africa and (3) access to medicines in Europe – and will examine the major challenges of access to medicines in Europe and Africa in the light of the issues of price and reimbursement. There are many opportunities for innovative partnerships here, and, for the first time at European level, issues of ethics and transparency in the sector are also to be addressed.
Antonio Tajani, Vice-President of the Commission responsible for industry and entrepreneurship, said "I attach great importance to corporate social responsibility. In the field of pharmaceuticals it is all the more important for the activities of companies to be in line with the general interest. However, these companies have to operate in a commercial market. I think that it is time to launch a specific consultation at European level in this sector so that commercial imperatives can be combined with the needs of society."
In the light of the contribution that this industry can make to the lives of citizens, it is important to ensure that strategies are in line with the needs of society and that all stakeholders are prepared to take responsibility. The aim is to promote a dynamic exchange between the national authorities, the industry and other public sector and civil society stakeholders.
The pharmaceutical industry makes a huge contribution to economic growth and employment in Europe. The European Union counts more than 4 500 enterprises in this field, employing more than 600 000 people and producing medicines to a value of some € 190 billion.
The process will be divided into three separate platforms: (1) ethics and transparency, (2) access to medicines in Africa and (3) access to medicines in Europe.
For more information: