Fourth meeting of the Pharma Dialogue held in Berlin

The fourth meeting of the Federal Government’s Pharma Dialogue took place on 21 January 2015. This time the aim was to carry out a comprehensive review of previous dialogue meetings. In preparation for the final report, the dialogue participants discussed potential ways to improve Germany’s position as a pharma location and possible implementation strategies. At the invitation of the Federal Ministry of Health (BMG), the meeting was attended by the presidents of the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) and the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut (PEI), Karl Broich and Klaus Cichutek respectively; representatives from the Federal Joint Committee of Physicians and Health Insurance Funds (G-BA) and the head of the Joint Committee’s Medicinal Products Department, Thomas Müller; along with representatives from the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors, science, and the mining, chemical and energy trade union IG BCE. BIO Deutschland was represented at this dialogue meeting by its Managing Director Viola Bronsema. 

The meeting’s main agenda topicswere organised around the focal points of the last threedialogue meetings, with each moderated by a representative from the relevant ministry.The first topic, under the heading “Strengthening Germany’s Position as a Research Location”, was presented by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). State Secretary Georg Schütte moderated the discussion, which addressed the following issues: driving forwardresearch and development,boosting collaboration, supporting clinical studies, accessing and leveraging big data for pharmaceutical research, and meeting ethical and societal challenges. The dialogue participants confirmed that the Pharma Dialogue’s first meeting a year ago had demonstrated that Germany’s research landscape is well positioned. They now intend to make joint efforts to consolidate this position and enhance it even further. 

The second topic – “Safe and Reliable Supply of Medicinal Products” under the direction of State Secretary Lutz Stroppefrom the BMG –focused on issues related to antibiotics: delaying the formation of resistances andstrengthening the development of new antibiotics as well asneeded adjustments to AMNOG, fixed rates, discount agreements, reimbursement prices and the challenges presented by biosimilars andpersonalised medicine. In conclusion, dialogue participants discussed the topic of supply bottlenecks.

Discussions on the last agenda item “Securing Germany’s Future as a Pharma Location” were led byWolfgang Scheremet, department head at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). The topics covered included increasing Germany’s attractiveness as a production location, improving the climate for spin-off firms, strengthening the potential of venture capital, Industry 4.0 and digitisation, and big data as well as the topic of employment and skilled workers. The ministry stressed that excellent support was provided to start-ups and that there were numerous initiatives in Germany that help to cultivate a robust start-up climate and foster the entrepreneurial spirit. It also pointed out various measures devoted to growth promotion had been launched, adding that it sought to develop concrete proposals for improvements in further discussions. The ministry also stated that reducing bureaucracy was an important issue as it seeks to minimise the burden on SMEs.

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