Todays’ guest blog is from Chiara Gizzi, Health Policy Sr Associate, and Concetto Vasta, Corporate Affairs & Market Access Sr Director, Lilly Italy.
At Lilly Italy, we were excited to see Farmindustria, the Italian trade association of pharmaceutical companies, host a multi-stakeholder side event on harnessing new technologies in healthcare in the fringes of the G7 Ministerial Meeting Health that took place in November in Milan.
Italy, as host of the G7, had a voice in the discussion that is rebounding across Europe, bringing home some of the key challenges confronting western societies, namely ageing populations, climate change and migration. By 2050, the ageing population in Europe is set to increase by 58 million, with a significant impact on health and on the sustainability of healthcare systems. Not least in Italy, which is currently the country with the second highest number of older people worldwide and among the countries with the longest life expectancy in Europe. Echoing the words of Italy’s Minister of Health, Beatrice Lorenzin, who took part in the Farmindustria G7 side event, it is paramount that we find innovative and sustainable solutions to cope with the rising pressures faced by all our national healthcare systems.
Despite these challenges, the discussions that came out of the meeting were largely positive and focused on the opportunities ahead. There was a clear consensus on the global need for universal access to treatments and the importance of creating partnerships among health organizations and research bodies. Where Italy is concerned, Farmindustria President Massimo Scaccabarozzi, underlined the importance of considering pharmacological products not just as products, but as part of a wider healthcare system. In this way a more holistic approach could be taken towards treating patients.
Other notable interventions included EFPIA vice president Jean-Christophe Tellier, who emphasized that the driver for investments and measurements of success must be the treatment outcomes, rather than the costs. EMA Executive Director Guido Rasi agreed on the importance of guaranteeing the sustainability of healthcare systems, finding new alliances among providers, payers and patients with regulatory agencies being able to address unmet needs. According to him, it is key to focus on how one attracts new talented people with highly technical and innovative expertise, as well as long-term thinking in order to adapt to the new technologies available today.
At Lilly, we take great pride in continuing to invest our efforts in finding innovative solutions to some of the major chronic diseases. However, the discussion at the G7 only highlighted to us that we, along with the whole health community, need to redouble efforts and work together towards ensuring that our ageing populations live healthier as well as longer lives. And that we address, with a public-private partnership approach, the overall issue of how to make our health systems fit for purpose and sustainable in the face of the considerable health challenges that all European countries have to face. With a newly reorganized regulatory authority in Italy – AIFA – the country has taken a first step towards ensuring that the Italian healthcare system is better able to harness new technologies for better health outcomes.