BIO Deutschland attends Pharma Dialogue’s final report presentation
|The Pharma Dialogue’s partners at the concluding event with Federal Minister of Health Hermann Gröhe and the State Secretaries Lutz Stroppe (BMG) and Georg Schütte (BMBF); far right, Peter Heinrich (Chairman of the Board of BIO Deutschland); 4th from right, Viola Bronsema (Managing Director of BIO Deutschland). Photo: BIO Deutschland|
BIO Deutschland was an active participant in the Federal Government’s Pharma Dialogue, as you have probably gathered from previous reports on the subject. This dialogue, which began in autumn of 2014 and consisted of four rounds of meetings, got all stakeholders in Germany’s pharmaceutical value chain together at one table. The Pharma Dialogue’s final report was presented on 12 April at its concluding event in Berlin.
In the various meetings with representatives of the Federal Government, pharma associations, trade unions and regulatory authorities, BIO Deutschland particularly advocated recognising the importance of the biotech industry for the pharma location Germany and strengthening the country’s position as a research and production location for pharmaceutical products, as biotech companies are an integral part of the value chain of drug development. The association also called for intensifying efforts to increase R&D funding for young and growing innovative biotech firms and for improving technology transfer. Concrete demands of BIO Deutschland included speeding up the statutory approval procedures for radiation protection in clinical research and improving regulations on reimbursements made for diagnostic procedures.
The final report hails biotechnology as one of the most important industries of the 21 century and calls for reinforcing the pioneering role of Germany as a location for biopharmaceutical development and manufacturing. It also states that the Federal Government intends to pass a radiation protection law that governs and improves the statutory approval procedures for radiation protection. This is supposed to take place in the current legislative period. Furthermore, the Federal Ministry of Health plans to improve regulations on reimbursements made for diagnostic procedures. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) pledged in the final report to continue their commitment to supporting drug discovery and medicinal products research through the continuation and bundling of already established programmes as well as through measures that aim to increase the availability of venture capital in Germany. The plan to institute a turnover ceiling that restricts the free formation of prices for innovative drugs in their initial year on the market could send a negative signal to company founders and investors. This would affect in particular highly innovative new medicinal products that could benefit a large group of patients. BIO Deutschland found the Pharma Dialogue to be a constructive format. It is also worth noting that issues such as promoting innovative companies, fostering venture capital and improving the tax environment, which were raised by BIO Deutschland during the meetings, are explicitly identified as key topics in the Pharma Dialogue’s final report. All participating associations take the planned continuation of the dialogue as a positive signal, since this will facilitate further collaboration on ensuring that Germany continues to enjoy a strong position as a research and production location for the biotech and pharma industries.