2016 in Spain, a year full of opportunities

Today’s guest writer is Javier Ellena, President and Director General of Lilly Spain, Portugal and Greece. He currently serves on the board of Farmaindustria and the Foundation for Technological Innovation (COTEC).

Lilly Spain has launched its own LillyPad blog order to maintain its commitment to transparency and the search for new forms of dialogue through clear communication across several channels. I would like to share my vision for Lilly Spain for the year ahead.

Our company is adapting to the challenges posed by this new century, contributing significantly to humanity by improving health. We are growing our discovery processes, which has become more and more complex, to find new medicines that improve people’s health. This is the mission which Eli Lilly began 140 years ago, and which we continue in our day-to-day work.

In 2016, as always, we maintain our firm promise to provide access to innovative medicines so they may improve people’s lives. Thanks to more than 100 scientists at our R&D center working to discover new molecules to help solve health problems, we contribute to Spanish research. This allows a generation to benefit from knowledge about high-quality and innovative new medicines.

This year Lilly aims to continue working on development by producing effective, safe medicines for people. Health is a basic right for everyone and, as a result, so is access to the most innovative drugs.

The reduction in pharmaceutical spending brings with it a bigger economic burden in the long term, because it means deterioration in the general health of the population, the occurrence of complications in people who suffer from illnesses, and an increase in sick leave and dependency as well as more hospitalizations and longer waiting lists.

In other words, at this time of economic recovery, the challenge facing our sector is to ensure that the authorities understand and share the importance of investment in health and, as a result, the necessary reflection of that in medical budgets. For this reason, it seems a good time to draw up a multi-year plan which will lead us to progressively match the percentage of GDP which other surrounding countries dedicate to the subject of health.

What’s more, the year ahead will be key in the trajectory of relationships between the pharmaceutical industry and healthcare professionals and institutions. It will be the year when we take concrete steps towards improving something which society demands both steadily and increasingly: transparency. For the professionals who work in either of the two sectors, industry or the world of healthcare, the need for and legitimacy of the relationships which may seem obvious. But it is evident that this is not the case for society as a whole, hence the demand for greater transparency.

Making a real and continued effort in two ways, I am convinced that we can satisfy demands. On the one hand, we will explain what these collaborations consist of and how they are necessary to be able to provide new medicines to patients and healthcare systems in an effective, safe manner. On the other hand we will publish all of the collaborations which have taken place with value transfer or financial compensation for a professional or an institution annually on the website of each company. This effort, led by Farmaindustria in their capacity as a member of EFPIA (European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations), affects its whole network of associates and will be implemented by 30th June 2016.

Finally, I want to highlight the commitment of Lilly Spain to corporate social responsibility. We continue working to maintain all the achievements which we have obtained to date. However, this is not enough for us, and in 2016 we will make an effort to improve aspects of our management and leadership in terms of CSR, but also in communication and dialogue with our stakeholder groups. Without a doubt, LillyPad Spain will be a useful tool for increased transparency and the dissemination of valuable content.

We face this year with hope, overcoming new challenges and fulfilling our most important commitment, which reflects our mission: to provide medicines which improve people’s quality of life.