Julie Maréchal-Jamil, director of biosimilars policy and science at Medicines for Europe, describes opportunities for biosimilars in the year ahead.
This year for us is very special because we have European elections. It's a time when the political agenda gets quite reset for another 5 years, so it's very important and for us, it's important that the parliament that will be elected in May and then the European Commission that will be formed then in the fall all have a strategic agenda for health. That's very important for us, but more importantly that they have a reserved place for biosimilars to play an important role in that agenda.
Two points: I think, in Europe, there's a big focus on reducing inequalities in access, and biosimilars are very obvious and readily available to contribute to meeting that objective, so I think we're calling on the institution this year [in a very] big [way] to to have that strategic inclusion of biosimilars in meeting their health objectives.
The other bit is more on the industrial side of things, where biosimilars were born here in Europe because of how the system was set up early on, their legal framework and everything, but we haven't fared very well in manufacturing capability and know-how; that really needs to be nurtured because the the needs are growing in Europe and elsewhere, and I think it's important that we nurture that for the long-term.
So 2 agendas: one more on the equity, creating greater equity, and the other more on the industrial policy side. So this is our big agenda for 2019.