3 questions Pierre Morneau (General Manager Takeda Schweiz, Takeda Pharma AG) - Vice Chair Innovation Hub Committee - Interpharma

Split contribution to:

18 April 2023

3 questions Pierre Morneau (General Manager Takeda Schweiz, Takeda Pharma AG) – Vice Chair Innovation Hub Committee

What are the strengths and opportunities for Switzerland as a hub of research and innovation?

Switzerland has a long tradition of world-class accomplishments in the pharmaceutical industry, with large global players such as Novartis, Roche and Nestlé as well as a host of Biotech and Medtech companies. The country’s high level of expertise in the fields of precision medicine and medical technology, as well its commitment to producing high-quality medicinal products, is another significant strength. Moreover, Swiss universities are well known for producing world-class professionals in the fields of science and technology. ETH, EPFL and the University of St. Gallen are just a few of the top universities in Switzerland that are generating a consistent pipeline of qualified young professionals.

The unique geographic location of Switzerland also represents an opportunity for research and innovation. Its position at the heart of Europe enables easy access to the European Union and other countries. Switzerland’s stable political climate and efficient infrastructure are additional advantages for companies in the pharmaceutical industry.

Where do you see the most urgent challenges and problems for Switzerland in this context?

In spite of its many strengths, Switzerland does face some challenges and problems as a research and innovation hub. One of the most urgent issues is the necessity of attracting and retaining talent. The high cost of living and strict immigration policy in Switzerland make it difficult to attract top talent from around the world.

Another challenge is the result of the administrative hurdles involved in conducting clinical research and gaining access to medicines. The complex regulatory environment in Switzerland can be a strain for companies, and some choose to shift their operations to other countries as a result. Digitization and access to health data are also important issues that have to be addressed to maintain competitiveness.

Finally, the current problems surrounding Swiss relations with Europe represent a major challenge. The uncertainty around Brexit and the negotiations on a new framework agreement with the EU could damage the attractiveness of Switzerland as a pharmaceutical hub.

What needs to be done to ensure that Switzerland remains attractive as a pharmaceutical center, and what do you plan to do personally as the IHC Vice Chair?

To maintain Switzerland’s attractiveness as a pharmaceutical hub, the focus must continue to be on innovation and research. This can be achieved by promoting stronger relations between the pharmaceutical industry, academic institutions and state agencies.

Another important step is to establish a future health data hub in Switzerland. This would enable better integration and improved access to health data, which would ultimately lead to better outcomes for patients. Moreover, there must be a continued focus on sustained investment in the Swiss pharmaceutical industry to ensure long-term success.

As the IHC Vice Chair, I will personally press for sustained investment in the Swiss pharmaceutical industry, as well as initiatives to address the aforementioned challenges and problems. I will work together with important decision-makers to facilitate strong relationships between industry players, the academic world and governmental agencies. I will also advocate for the creation of a future health data hub in Switzerland and support measures that would minimize administrative hurdles in clinical research and access to medicines. Finally, I will follow the negotiations on a new framework agreement with the EU with great interest and support a positive outcome to the benefit of the Swiss pharmaceutical industry.

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