With concrete actions, in cooperation with the scientific and economic resources of institutional bodies of the State, the pharmaceutical industry joins the other forces of economic growth in the country in the national effort for an exit from the recession. By investing millions of euros in research and development, production, clinical trials and exports, the pharmaceutical industry makes a direct contribution to Greek GDP and demonstrates that it can drive the economy to an upward path. There is no question about the fact that the growth of our industry means growth for the country.
Our contribution to growth
Restarting the economy and formulating a growth policy that focuses on the basic structures and pillars for revitalising Greek entrepreneurship as a key driver towards an exit from the recession, are for the pharmaceutical industry the main points of its strategy. Ever since the outbreak of the crisis, SFEE and its member companies have not only planned but also helped, with a serious and responsible stance, efforts to put the country into an upward trajectory.
Our industry has been making an essential contribution, by its proposals and tested solutions that ensure the strengthening of Greek economy and the sustainability of the health system in line with modern standards of transparency and efficiency, enabling the pharmaceutical industry to unlock its huge potential and become the locomotive of growth in the Greek economy.
The role of the pharmaceutical industry in an exit from the crisis
The pharmaceutical industry is a prime example of active and strong response to the economic crisis, through its initiatives aimed to support public health and its strategy for the future growth model and its place in it. Using as a powerful springboard its investment, which has continued despite the fluid environment of the recession, its support to clinical research in Greece and its production output, the pharmaceutical industry has not just aligned on the side of the Greek State, but strives to expand its activity, even amid divided political decisions, and to overcome the obstacles in the way. This is confirmed by the findings of a study entitled “A Growth Strategy for the Pharmaceutical Industry” prepared by the Foundation of Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE/FEIR). The study provides tangible evidence of the industry’s positive performance and definite potential to further contribute to a healthy business landscape.
The contribution of the pharmaceutical industry to growth is important and consists in the following:
- The industry is the fourth largest exporter among Greece’s major export manufacturing industries and contributes significant to EU-27 export growth.
The industry has an export activity of close to EUR 1 billion, bringing Greek medicinal products to the markets of more than 100 countries, with 30% of total exports directed to such demanding markets as France, Germany and Austria. Moreover, its export activity increased by 10% over the last three years.
- The pharmaceutical industry posted the highest average annual increase in exports, 9.6%, over the last ten years.
Research and Innovation
- It has been reliably estimated that investment in clinical trials could reach EUR 400 million in the medium term, although today this activity is very limited: data for 2012 show that actual investment, at EUR 84 million, is only one fifth of what could be expected.
- The Greek pharmaceutical industry has a constantly high share in overall research spending compared with other European countries and accounts for 18% of total R&D investment.
- Our country has one of the highest growth rates of scientific publications in comparison with other OECD countries, ranking eighth among 34 countries.
A growth strategy for the Greek pharmaceutical industry
The goal of the pharmaceutical industry is to make a major contribution to the prompt implementation of the necessary restructuring actions and reforms that our country needs. SFEE has steadily advocated positions that promote the common interests of society, the State and pharmaceutical companies.
In this context, we have designed and introduced a medium-term (2014-2021) Strategic Action Plan for the industry, which is based on two key pillars:
A.Production and Exports; and
B.Research, Development and Innovation
The Strategic Action Plan identifies specific goals for the future and the industry’s growth, examines the requirements for achieving these goals and specifies the actions whereby the pharmaceutical industry in Greece will be a critical driving force for the qualitative restructuring of the Greek economy. The key points of the strategy can be summarised as follows:
- Making Greece a hub for clinical research with a view to increasing annual expenditure on clinical research from EUR 84 million to EUR 400 million.
- Doubling employment in the pharmaceutical industry.
- Increasing R&D expenditure above 10% of the turnover of the industry in line with the target of “Europe 2020” (1.5% of GDP for R&D).
- Increasing the number of medicinal patents.
- Doubling investment in production plants in Greece.
- Improving the competitiveness of Greek pharmaceuticals and increasing exports by 50%.
- Linking academic/research centres with industry.
- Promoting Greece as a major destination for medical conferences.
The goals and actions of the Plan outline a strategic blueprint for the growth of the Greek pharmaceutical industry in Greece, which can be implemented with the agreement and cooperation of all stakeholders under the basic condition that the pharmaceutical industry and government can jointly develop a framework to support entrepreneurship and attract new investment based on the pillars of our vision and the individual policies and action plans or our member companies.