First Meeting of the Federal Government’s Pharma Dialogue on Research and Development

Following the opening event on 15 September 2014, the first meeting of the Federal Government’s pharma dialogue on research and development took place at the Federal Ministry of Health on 21 January 2015. In preparation for the meeting, the five associations involved – BAH, BIO Deutschland, BPI, Pro Generika and vfa – drew up and agreed on a paper containing the industry’s views on this topic in the past weeks. The paper includes 18 concrete recommendations and has been sent to the Federal Government.

In addition to the representatives of the Federal Ministry of Health, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and the associations, the dialogue includes research organisations (the Helmholtz Association, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, the Department of Health Economics and Health Services Research at University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf and the Medizinische Fakultätentag) and the Mining, Chemicals and Energy Trade Union. The presidents of two higher federal authorities, the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices and the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut, also attended the meeting because of the subject matter involved. BIO Deutschland was represented by its chairman Peter Heinrich and board member Christian Schetter.

The meeting, which opened with words of welcome by Lutz Stroppe, Permanent State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Health, and an introduction by Georg Schütte, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, was divided into three main topics.

The first part was called “From the idea to the product”, and was opened by a short talk by Holger Zimmermann, Chief Scientific Officer and CEO-elect of AiCuris GmbH & Co. KG, Wuppertal, who spoke about the special features of pharmaceutical research, including long lead times, high costs and significant risks. After Zimmermann’s talk, the meeting participants discussed critical transfer points and overlaps between the individual steps along the value-added chain on the path to an innovation, as well as concrete ways to make improvements. Antibiotics development was treated as a separate subject.

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