The Government Programme must move to rapid implementation

12.09.2023 | Petra Tirkkonen

The Government Programme must move to rapid implementation

Prime Minister Petteri Orpo's Government Programme contains many important recordings from the perspective of the pharmaceutical sector. As summer begins to turn to autumn, it's time to roll up the sleeves and start implementing them quickly.

Effective pharmaceutical care and vaccines are of great importance for people's health, work ability and functional capacity.

It is therefore excellent that Orpo's Government is committed to continuing the reform of the pharmaceutical issues in the long term. The previous Roadmap and the plans drawn up during the last government term provide a good basis for progressing to concrete measures.

The reform of the evaluation criteria and processes related to the introduction of medicines must proceed swiftly so that effective pharmaceutical care will be quickly and equally available to all Finns.

Sufficient resources must be allocated to the implementation of the reform of the medicine issues. The work must be carried out in a well-coordinated manner and all actors in the pharmaceutical sector must be openly and closely involved in the preparation of the reforms.

To be sure that the introduction will take place at a reasonable cost to society, it must be ensured that it is possible to negotiate its concrete terms between the payer and the pharmaceutical company.

The Government's decision to increase the value added tax on medicines in 2025 will be reflected in patients' rising medicine costs. In addition, the previous freezing of the annual patient co-payment for medicine reimbursements is coming to an end. To ensure that patients will be able to afford the medicines they need also in the future, it is important that the Government implements the change in the level of the annual patient co-payment that is currently being prepared and also swiftly promotes the Government Programme's recording on paying the annual patient co-payment in installments.

In a turbulent global situation, it is important to ensure the availability of medicines and the security of supply. The reform of the Act on the Obligatory Storage of Medicines must be started swiftly. The good availability of the medicines and the pharmacy services, the quality of services and the safety of medicines and medication must also be maintained in the reform of the pharmacy system.

The steering of pharmaceutical care and pharmaceutical services must be developed as part of the overall social and health care service system. With the help of medicines and vaccines, it is possible to shift the focus of healthcare to prevention in accordance with the Government's objectives and to ensure that people's ability to work and function are maintained or that they recover quickly even in the event of serious illnesses.

Strong innovation activities and predictable environment encourage investments

The objective of Orpo’s Government to strengthen Finland's economic growth in the coming years is important and right. At the heart of growth is strong innovation and an environment that attracts companies to invest here. Innovations, on the other hand, require a strong RDI environment. The Government's actions must be aligned so that the goals set for the coming years can be achieved.

Pharma Industry Finland (PIF) considers it important that Orpo's Government is committed to swiftly advancing the parliamentary target of increasing RDI investments to 4% of GDP. In addition to the annual increase in the state funding envisaged in the budget, it is important to ensure that the money is directed especially to sectors that generate growth. Growth in pharmaceutical industry investments requires a strong RDI environment in the welfare service areas. We consider it important that the planned increase of EUR 5 million in state research funding is realised.

The Health and Wellbeing Growth Programme is an important measure that supports, among other things, the growth of investments in the pharmaceutical industry. The new growth programme for the health and wellbeing sector must be launched swiftly and in broad stakeholder cooperation. Jointly agreed actions also need adequate funding and strong coordination.

The legislation on the secondary use of health data needs quick fixes. For Finland's competitiveness, it is essential that our regulatory base is enabling and in line with international practices.

Research in the pharmaceutical industry leads to innovations that provide patients with treatment for illnesses and develop Finnish healthcare. The benefits will be lost if innovations are not introduced.

The Government must become more active in influencing at EU level

Finland's success in global competition and turning RDI investments into growth also depend in many respects on Europe's success. A Europe that is innovation-friendly and encourages research is in Finland's interest.

The extensive pharmaceutical legislation reform package published by the European Commission last spring, the European Health Information Space and other regulations concerning the operating environment of the pharmaceutical industry must be predictable and support RDI investments.