All eyes in Brussels were on the European Council last month as representatives from Member States got together to discuss key points on the European agenda. Innovation was a hot topic and the Council's meeting conclusions show that it will continue to be a focus in the on-going efforts to encourage growth across Europe. The European Ministers have concluded that investment in research and innovation 'fuels productivity and growth and is key for job creation'. We couldn't agree more!
Here at Lilly we often talk about an 'Ecosystem' that is needed to encourage innovation, which in turn will lead to better treatments. Deeply embedded in that ecosystem is building an environment that allows innovation to flourish. In Europe, there are many actors, and factors, that play a role in building the right ecosystem; think of regulatory frameworks, European legislation, pricing and reimbursement systems that recognise the full value of medicines for patients, health care professionals and health care systems , the protection of intellectual property, scientific education, partnerships between different stakeholders in healthcare - from policy makers and industry, to patients and health care professionals.
Getting this ecosystem right is absolutely essential for companies like Lilly to continue to invest in Europe, and for getting the right treatments, to the right patients, at the right time. In the words of President Barroso, all of us play a role in creating an "innovative dynamism at European scale".
In case you are curious what Lilly's CEO John Lechleiter has to say about this, he spoke about innovation and science in Europe when he was over in Brussels earlier this year.
Existing initiatives in which Lilly participates such as the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) help to coordinate and finance research and development, and success is dependent on the full engagement of all stakeholders.
The focus on innovation and investment in the European health care debate is an extremely positive development. We at Lilly will continue to play our part and we look forward to seeing how much progress has been made when the European Council takes stock at its meeting in February 2014.