Debating the pharmaceutical industry
What will the medicines of the future be like? Can we prevent the sale of fake medicines? Why are so many of our active ingredients sourced from Asia? These questions and many others will be tackled on the 29th and 30th of October at the Montjuïc venue of Fira de Barcelona, in the first edition of PharmaProcess, the first forum on the pharmaceutical industry to be held in Europe.
Ton Capella: Added value
The president and managing director of Azbil Telstar, Ton Capella, chairs the forum’s organizing committee and is convinced that “PharmaProcess provides great added value because of the focus of the Innovation Forum, which is very different from the classic type of exhibition”. All the elements involved in the development of the pharmaceutical process will be present, including experts, companies and the most important associations of the sector.
Carles Cirera: “Difficult times”
The president of the Spanish section of the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE), Carles Cirera, which brings together more than 22,000 professionals from the sector from 90 countries, emphasises the “great opportunity” that this event represents for an industry that “is going through difficult times” caused by, among other factors, the lowering of reference prices imposed by the Government, the fall in sales across the country and an increase in the number of unpaid invoices.
Even so, he predicts that “the integration of biotechnology in the manufacturing process of new medicines will represent a significant leap forward for the industry, although there is still a long way to go”.
Humberto Arnés: a stable framwork
The managing director of Farmaindustria (The Business Association of the domestic Pharmaceutical Industry), Humberto Arnés, underlines the industry’s need for “a stable and predictable framework in the medium and long term, without disturbances that affect activity, and in which spending objectives compatible with the Stability Plan 2013-2016 and the adjustments planned by the Autonomous Communities can be established”.
He also complains that the Spanish pharmaceutical market, which is the fifth in Europe in terms of sales, has suffered “the grievous consequences of the adjustments carried out by the Spanish government”, which has seen the pharmaceutical companies’ market diminish by “around 30% in only three years”.
The pharmaceutical sector is founded on R&D, the factor that all the companies rely on to see them through present difficulties. The managing director of Farmaindustria considers that “the industry is developing new approaches and mechanisms which will result in medicines to treat conditions that are incurable today”.
Innovation and international expansion are vital
Enric Jo, director of the factory that Laboratorios Reig Jofré have in Sant Joan Despí, affirms that “innovation is the key to success. Where there is business there is innovation, and where there is innovation there is business. Innovation has to be the main concern of companies’ global strategies: what to innovate and how”.
Isidro Alastrué is the director of chemical operations for the Grupo Almirall, one of the leading Spanish laboratories on the world stage. He feels that international expansion and innovation are the key to providing the medicines that make our societies healthier. For example, in the last year, one compound for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Aclidinium has become the therapeutic solution for patients in countries across the world.”
According to the experts, we are seeing a process of business concentration in the chemical-pharmaceutical industry and a movement towards the emerging economies in search of markets as well as cost effective human resources and quality. Asia and Latin America will probably be the driving forces behind growth in coming years, while Europe the USA and Japan will see a degree of stagnation, but no decline.