25.06.2013 - Sanofi’s CEO Christopher Viehbacher has been elected head of Europe’s pharma lobby organisation EFPIA. He started off with threatening EU politicians.
Christopher A. Viehbacher, Chief Executive Officer of Sanofi, was elected President of EFPIA, the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations, for a 2-year term. Viehbacher, holding both German and Canadian nationalities, took the chance after the election on June 24 to take up a stance on EU politics. The quarrel is about the European Medicine Agency’s (EMA) strategy to make drug development more transparent by disclosing data from clinical studies. The EMA hopes that the released data on already approved drugs could spur research in general. The industry, however, believes competitors from the biologics field may gain valuable information and thus feels bullied. Speaking of his very own Sanofi, Viehbacher argues in a Reuters release: „If I was to say where would I put the next euro of investment, I would say either the next euro of investment would go to the United States or to emerging markets.“ The data in question also includes information that may help competitors in the field, Viehbacher fears that other companies like GSK or Roche got less exercised on the issue. They plan to open the corresponding raw data files for qualified researchers.
Beyond that discussion, Viehbacher also identified other construction sites, The EFPIA head urged: „Given the chronic deficits of healthcare systems, we must work differently, build collaborative policies and combine our strengths at both national and European levels. As we want Healthcare to be a growth engine for Europe, our industry must focus on three priorities: patient access, science & innovation and competitiveness.” Viehbacher follows Andrew Witty from UK’s GlaxoSmithKline. Joining him at the head of the EFPIA board will be two newly elected Vice Presidents, Roch Doliveux, Chief Executive Officer of UCB, and Joseph Jimenez, Chief Executive Officer of Novartis.
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