The Future of Transatlantic Trade

TTIP is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to upgrade the competitiveness of the transatlantic economy. This is the message that Lilly’s Marcel Lechanteur, President for Lilly France and Benelux, will deliver in Paris today.  Marcel will be speaking at a conference hosted by leading publications from both sides of the Atlantic on the future of transatlantic trade, and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) in particular.

 The conference brings together key policymakers and business leaders.  During the session Healthcare Industry: fostering pharmaceutical and biomedical innovation Marcel will join a panel together with the European Commission to discuss how to remove duplicative regulatory barriers that slow down the development of new medicines.  Lilly exports to over 120 countries worldwide from our plants in Fegersheim, France and Florence, Italy so aligning around common high standards can have a real impact on competitiveness and jobs in the EU.

TTIP jobs

From Lilly’s perspective, there are 3 key priorities that Marcel emphasises today:

 1.       Regulatory convergence can cut duplication

  •  Agreement between regulators to align requirements for companies could cut duplication and reduce unnecessary delays in approvals of medicines. 
  • Overlapping site inspections by EU and US regulators cost companies tens of millions of Euros per year in avoidable costs.  Mutual recognition could cut inspections by 40% - freeing up resources for inspections in priority countries like India or China.
  • Another example is that the EU and US have different requirements for the development of medicines for children.  A simplified and harmonised format for paediatric development plans could reduce delays in developing new paediatric indications – surely a pressing and important need.

 2.       Market Access matters in the transatlantic economy - and globally

  •  We believe TTIP should articulate a set of general principles about the importance of transparency in the pricing and reimbursement of medicines.  This is important in Europe and to set a standard for future trade agreements.  In particular, pricing and reimbursement systems for medicines should reflect the full range of the value that medicines can bring to patients and society at large.  This can include allowing patients or caregivers to return to work, as well as impacts on wider health care system efficiency.
  • Market access is critical for ensuring patients rapidly gain access to new treatments, and to allow the industry to maintain and grow direct and indirect employment 

3.       Trade agreements like TTIP must uphold the highest IP standards

  • IP underpins our knowledge economy in Europe.  Recent EU data confirm that IP-intensive industries produce 39% of EU GDP, 1/3 of EU jobs and 90% of EU exports.
  • TTIP should underscore the importance of high IP standards in trade agreements and help deliver effective patent enforcement.  Better patent enforcement is critical to the long-term future of the industry in Europe – current systems vary between EU member states and many provide little legal certainty for innovators.

Negotiations on TTIP are in full swing, four negotiation rounds have been held and only 2 weeks ago President Obama visited Brussels to give a further boost to the discussions. We firmly believe progress in the areas above can help drive greater investment in jobs and R&D and ensure new medicines get to patients as rapidly as possible.