The Interpharma members currently invest some CHF 6.5 billion annually in research and development in Switzerland. In order for investment to remain attractive in the future, the protection of intellectual property and access to talent, partners and high-quality health data must be ensured.
It is vital to create a world-leading, integrated health-data ecosystem comprising Swiss data and access to foreign data if Switzerland is to thrive as a pharmaceutical hub. This requires cooperation between the industry, authorities, academia and other relevant partners. An example of this cooperation is the Swiss Personalized Health Network (SPHN), an initiative of the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) and the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) dedicated to the creation of a national data infrastructure, with special emphasis on collaboration with hospitals and universities.
The strategic focus area Personalized Health and Related Technologies (PHRT) at ETH Zurich, which is being developed in cooperation with other research institutes, is a complementary initiative. PHRT has a special emphasis on promoting technologies for earlier and better data-based diagnosis. An ecosystem of this kind creates a framework both for successful research and development and for the development and widespread use of the best possible personalised medicine for patients. Moreover, an integrated health-data ecosystem creates an important basis for a benefit-based pricing system for medical innovations.
In global terms, the transfer of health data from all over the world to Switzerland and vice versa must be made possible by ensuring the equivalence of data protection provisions. Sufficient attention must also be paid to cybersecurity. Cooperation with the universities in establishing a world-leading institute for research into health data (and Big Data in particular) must be actively pursued. Yet data on their own are not enough. New developments in artificial intelligence (AI) can confer on Switzerland a decisive locational advantage and a distinguishing feature. The basis for a successful future can be created through projects involving different stakeholder groups.