“Regional decentralisation does not benefit Finland’s or Fimea’s competitiveness now that the country is trying to implement the Health Sector Growth Strategy and attract pharmaceutical sector investments to generate new growth and jobs in Finland”, General Manager Jussi Merikallio of PIF points out.
“Does Finland want to have a competent and effective Medicines Agency by European standards, also able to support Finnish business operations through its particular expertise?” he asks.
The shift of the personnel mainly to Kuopio would take the important Agency away from its principal pharmaceutical industry customers. Finland’s pharmaceutical industry is mostly located in the Helsinki metropolitan area as well as in Turku and Tampere. The forced transfers of Fimea’s personnel would lead to extensive dismissals which, in turn, would mean a great loss of the Agency’s current competence pool.
In addition to costs incurred for decentralisation, the pharmaceutical companies would have to pay for the additional expenses for their contacts and dealings with Fimea, including travelling to Kuopio.
“According to the new Government’s programme, business-related expenses are not to be increased. Through various licence and control charges, the industry already pays about 85% of Fimea’s net expenditure”, General Manager Merikallio adds.
The State must safeguard Fimea’s functions and its best possible competence. The Agency must compete with other European regulatory authorities for medicine evaluations. The authorities in various countries are in competition with each other because they are jointly responsible for the evaluation of novel medicines and also distribute the ensuing income on fees and charges in proportion to the input in terms of work performed. Fimea’s competence is also key to each person living in Finland because the Agency is responsible for the safe use of medicines.
In PIF's view, the core aspect of Fimea’s operations is the continuous development of its competitive expertise, not the geographical location. PIF is in favour of a model where the best available evaluation expertise in Finland could be exploited maximally, without fixing the allocation of tenures in one particular location only.
In the report on the decentralisation of Fimea, the one-man committee proposes that the process be continued in line with the current plans and timetables. The objective is to have the Fimea headquarters up and running in Kuopio in 2018, with the Agency having multiple side locations.
For further information:
Jussi Merikallio, General Manager, Pharma Industry Finland PIF, tel. +358 50 667 48