The majority of the investments were made in research and development. Finnish researchers are highly educated and committed to their work. By promoting a pro-research trend in the operating environment, we have good chances of attracting a growing number of investments in the country.
Until recent years, the number of pharmaceutical trials and research projects has been decreasing globally. This has also been the tendency in Finland. However, the research allocations made in 2015 start to indicate a turn for the better. The number of research projects notified to the authorities increased slightly from the previous year.
Ten years ago, the focus on research was on the major public health problems of the time, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. In addition, Finland was the venue for huge vaccine research projects. The emphasis of today’s research in Finland has shifted towards cancer medicines and nervous system medicines. Finnish expertise in these specialties is top notch by global standards.
As pharmacotherapies are targeted with increasing precision at special patient groups, the process of identifying research subjects gets slower. However, the developing patient information systems and the opportunity to combine patient information with the data in biobanks help in the search for the right patients. Finland has had such registers in use for decades, and the data contained in them can be combined with the help of the specific personal ID code in use throughout the country.
New legislation that would speed up the register-based research and the combination of information derived from different registers is under preparation. Now that the social welfare and healthcare systems are being radically reformed, it is our responsibility to underline the importance of research work for the entire society.
Pharma Industry Finland PIF follows the trend in investments
A few years ago, Finland adopted a specific growth strategy for health sector research and innovation. The growth strategy was drafted as collaboration between the sectoral actors and three different ministries.
Finland is a small country that has made a conscious input in the highest level of education and state-of-the-art expertise. However, the operating environment must also promote and support research. A further step in the growth strategy process, the Road Map for the next few years was published in the summer of 2016. The objective is to create a research-friendly operating environment that attracts new investments in Finland
The growth strategy is a message sent by the Finnish society, showing that there is a will to invest in the health sector. Correspondingly, we are expected to provide proof of the return on this investment and the benefits gained by society. We need valid indicators to be able to follow the social advantages brought about by the growth strategy.
Some of the indicators can be based on official national statistics. However, not all data is available in them. PIF performs its own surveys, e.g. questionnaires among its members, to collect data on the pharmaceutical branch, in particular. The metrics develop, become more precise and change over time. If we do not have them, we cannot demonstrate how society benefits from the investments made in this branch.