A number of social and economic factors have recently converged that are having a worrying impact on the strategies of commercial actors in medicines policy, and creating a dangerous imbalance in policy debates.
Pharmaceutical pipelines are drying up and new medicines that demonstrate any real therapeutic advantage are few and far between. As a result, originator pharmaceutical companies increasingly need to find ways to maximise profits from their existing products.
In addition, the impending ‘patent-cliff’ (a large-scale expiration of profitable patents on ‘blockbuster’ medicines) is driving more aggressive marketing practices, and pushing companies to adopt litigation strategies that delay or deter competition from more affordable generic medicines.
At the same time, European populations are aging fast, which will lead to greater demands on public health systems, in particular for long-term treatments for chronic diseases.
To compound the situation, these changes are all occurring against the backdrop of the global financial crisis, which has triggered major cuts in public health spending.
With this in mind, HAI Europe’s projects under the three Work Areas (below) focus on promoting policies that will address this new reality, whilst balancing the messages of commercial actors with independent citizen voices to ensure that public health interests are prioritised in decision-making that affects health.
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