2nd SfEE-EFPIA patient workshop




Press Release

2nd SfEE-EFPIA patient workshop
Working together with patient organizations


Athens, 17 February 2020.– In the context of a closed interactive workshop which was co-organized by the Hellenic Association of Pharmaceutical Companies (SFEE) and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) and was held for the second time in Greece, on Wednesday 12th February 2020, both the representatives of the patients’ associations and the representatives of the pharmaceutical industry emphasized the need to exchange views and ideas in order to establish two-way communication channels and strengthen their cooperation. The meeting, which was attended by over 60 representatives of patients’ associations and executives from the pharmaceutical industry, included lectures, as well as workshops on spotting obstacles and finding possible solutions for better communication and cooperation between the two parties with trust and transparency.

The President of SFEE, Mr. Olympios Papadimitriou mentioned that “Medicines are an integral part of health care and they definitely contribute to the patients’ health, to society, to the economy and the viability of the health systems. It’s thanks to the medicines that we now live longer and our quality of life has so much improved, while at the same time a lot of diseases are dealt with in the most effective way and patients not only manage to survive, but they also lead a better daily life at home, at work, etc. Innovative medicines greatly contribute to the viability of the health systems by saving resources, such as the cost of hospital treatment. The pharmaceutical industry continues to invest in research in order to find new treatment options that will meet significant needs that are currently not covered. Research and development of innovative medicines are expected to bring promising ways of treatment with revolutionary mechanisms of action over the next decade. They are expected to bring new cures for health issues that cannot be currently dealt with. Today, there are more than 7,000 molecules under development. They are new, life-saving treatments (orphan medicines, as well as oncology, hematology and neurological medicines among others) for rare diseases and severe chronic issues that are expected to help patients and the health systems in general. However, health all over Europe, especially in Greece, will have to get ready and make the necessary reforms to be able to take advantage of the forthcoming innovation and get fast and effective access to the new medicines. Therefore, it’s necessary for new health policy to be developed, which patients and stakeholders cannot be absent from”.

The EFPIA Communications Director Andy Powrie – Smith noted: “Patient Associations are one of the most important partners in the pharmaceutical industry. Patients and the pharmaceutical industry must have smooth, long-lasting cooperation with full trust and transparency, with a clear purpose and total independence of patients to make decisions and choose policies, with mutual respect and, of course, without any interference with the doctor-patient relationship. In this way the development of new medicines will be promoted, treatments will result in optimum therapies and the patients will enjoy maximum benefit”.

Maria Leontari, Communications Director of SFEE, stressed the importance of mutual communication and collaboration between the pharmaceutical industry and the patients’ associations and coordinated the interactive workshops. Both the representatives of the patients’ associations and the representatives of the pharmaceutical industry committed to holding more such meetings as this first meeting was only the beginning of a close collaboration that laid the foundations for the creation of the Greek Patients’ Think Tank.