The 19th European Health Forum Gastein brought together 600 businessman, researchers, and state officials from around the world. The Russian pharmaceutical industry was presented by ARPM Director General, Victor Dmitriev.
Bad Gastein is the traditional location if the Forum. Austria has been in top 10 countries with the highest healthcare achievements and results. Austria spends 8.3% of their GDP on healthcare annually. Back in 2001 a “Concept of meetings in Gastein” was designed where the term “human health” was defined as a physiological, psychological and social well-being. The forum is an important platform to discuss issues of healthcare at international level.
The main agenda of this the Forum was “Design better future for Europe’s healthcare”. Russia is a part of Europe not only geographically, but it also involved in processes that occur on the continent. Economic crises, unregulated migration, various approaches to health care and its financing altogether affect the health of people in Europe.
Assistant to Director General of the WHO, Oleg Chestnov spoke about the importance of prevention of infectious diseases. “Creation of a healthy city environment, reducing a number of smokers, moderate alcohol consumption, healthy diet and proper stress management all together should reduce the number of incidents of non-communicable diseases. However, the creation of such conditions only possible through organizational and economical measures. The difference between economic conditions in different cities and countries in Europe is an obstacle to achieving this goal.”
A price formation for innovative medicines has was also a topic of a hot discussion at the forum. Healthcare representatives express their concerns regarding high prices on modern medicines. The main reason for this was defined in monopolies of pharmaceutical companies and not transparent financing of medical research. Director General of the European town of Pharmaceutical Industries and Association (EFPIA), Richard Bergström opposed the argument. “The industry does not have an order from healthcare today. We do not have a list of priority medicines that are expected by medical professionals. Therefore, we are to choose directions of our research and invest in research of new medicines. This is a very risky business from an investor’s viewpoint,” said Mr. Bergström.
Mr. Dmitriev spoke on about the interest of the Russian pharmaceutical industry to the forum. “We participate in the event not only to strengthen our business communication with our European colleagues but also to respond to new challenges. There were several sessions on cooperation between business and Government, development of health insurance, and implementation of HTA (Health Technology Assessment). I am glad to notice that the role of pharmaceutical industry and its affect on people’s health increases every year. This has to do with not only with the entrance of new medicines on the market, but also with the verity of research that is done by the companies, implementation of new educational programs and promotion of healthy lifestyle. Globalization of health care is done to provide health services for people. This the current trend of the industry and Russia is following it.”