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Lilly chief: biopharma hampered by policies

Dr John C Lechleiter, CEO, Eli Lilly has called for greater involvement from the biopharma industry in transatlantic trade and economic discussions, with short-term government cost pressures 'hampering' the sector

Dr John C Lechleiter, CEO, Eli Lilly & Company, has called for greater involvement from the biopharmaceutical industry in transatlantic trade and economic discussions, with short-term cost pressures from governments 'hampering' the sector.

Lechleiter, speaking at the American Council on Germany's conference on The Transatlantic Partnership in the 21st Century, stated that greater co-operation would lead to technology advancement, job growth and societal benefit, with recent cost-cutting healthcare reforms, such as seen in Germany, having the potential to 'undermine' innovation.

He also encouraged the sector to be involved in the ongoing discussions and meetings concerning the Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC) – initially proposed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel to strengthen economic cooperation between the US and the EU.

"New medicines are one of the most cost-effective investments we can make to improve healthcare and enable more efficient use of healthcare budgets," said Lechleiter. "The whole world has a stake in policies in Europe and America that promote innovation and trade to address the vast unmet medical needs of growing and aging populations."

Lechleiter specified certain areas of trade discussion that the biopharmaceutical industry could benefit from, including consistent regulatory policies and intellectual property protection.

He also requested 'harmonised' systems to tackle issues such as counterfeiting, praising the recent Falsified Medicines Directive of the EU to prevent falsified medicines entering the legal supply chain.

Lechleiter's thoughts come the week following his speech to the Federation of German Industries Conference on July 7, 2011, where he made a similar request for greater collaboration and communication between Industry, the government and the healthcare system in Germany.

He said: "I see Germany as a place where the pharmaceutical industry can achieve a breakthrough — a fresh start if you will — to develop more constructive and collaborative relationships."

11th July 2011

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