Mitsotakis: “We try to support innovation and companies for the discovery of new drugs”

The heads of companies, associations and members of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries (IFPMA) located in our country met the Prime Minister. “We are given an opportunity to discuss important issues both at national political level and at the level of potential interventions in European environment,” said Kyriakos Mitsotakis at his meeting with Albert Burla and head of International Pharmaceutical Companies. “We live in a rather complicated environment. Sometimes we feel that we need to square the circle in trying to provide our citizens with innovative drugs and generically at the best price possible, ensuring that we protect our citizens from interruptions in the supply chain while trying to support innovation and companies for the discovery of new drugs,” the prime minister said. Moreover, as Mr Mitsotakis said in his introductory statement he had the opportunity to exchange views on how innovation can be supported in Greece. “This, is a sector we place great emphasis on”. Greece is an excellent environment to promote innovation On behalf of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries Albert Burla, CEO of Pfizer and IFPMA President, who said that Greece was selected for their annual meeting because he is a firm supporter of innovation. “With our presence here we make a statement on how happy we are,” noted Mr. Burla. “Greece has taken a very clear position on the important dimensions of promoting innovation and access to medicinal products,” he added. Furthermore, as Pfizer’s CEO said “we are entering a time of scientific regeneration because we have developments in technology and biotechnology and this will lead us to significant medical innovations over the next decade.” And as he added, this translates into specific investments. “Over 250 billion dollars have been invested in research and innovation by the pharmaceutical industry. The largest companies in the industry are here. At the moment the lion’s share of investment is in the United States. Three years ago, the difference in investment between Europe and the United States was about 2 billion.” Furthermore, as investment in 2023 said, it is estimated at over $50 billion in the US calling it “a missed opportunity for Europe”. Addressing the Prime Minister and the cabinet members who took part in the talks Mr. Burla said they understand the opportunities offered by Greece, as it “is an excellent environment for promoting innovation”. Mr. Burla made particular reference to innovation-friendly policies and the protection of intellectual property: “It is very important that these investments, if they are to be made, one must feel that this intangible property is protected.” The CEO of Pfizer then said to the Prime Minister: “We ask for your support at national level, of course, but also at European level. The voice of Greece was a voice that may not have been respected in the past. It is now one of the voices that are most respected and appreciated. And this is the result of everything the country has achieved by coming out of the dark period of the financial recession.” For his part, Mr Mitsotakis commented on the issues raised by Mr. Bourlas said: “The issues of European competitiveness must be at the heart of the campaign in the face of European elections. For our own government, but also for Europe, this must be at the top of our priorities in view of the next European cycle.” The Prime Minister also added: “We are losing competitiveness and Europe is failing to attract top-level investment. In all the important indicators we are back in relation to the United States and we must take that into account. Clearly, and we will press the European institutions, particularly the Commission, to focus on these issues. There are two reports that will be discussed in relation to the competitiveness and functioning of the single market, which in my view are extremely important because they are not working properly. On the part of the Greek government and as far as I am concerned personally, representing my country at the European Council, these are issues that will be at the heart of our agenda for the next period.”